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The Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse in Out-of home Care: Increased Risk for Children with a Mild Intellectual Disability

 This examines the year prevalence of Children sexual abuse (CSA) in out-of-home care compared children with a mild intellectual disability and non-disabled children and children in the general population.

 A total of 113 professionals working at Dutch care facilities for children with a mild intellectual disability were selected for participation in this study. Participants were on average 36.4 years old and 77% were female. The majority of participants (58%) worked in residential care, 39% worked in foster care and 3% worked in both types of care (in 2010)

 Results In out-of-home care for children with a mild intellectual disability, 9.8 per 1000 children were victims of CSA. This prevalence was significantly higher than in regular out-of-home care and in the general population. The results of this observational study do not provide any causal explanations of the increased risk in out-of home care for children with a mild intellectual disability or of the unexpectedly higher prevalence in foster care. Conclusion Children with a mild intellectual disability in out-of-home care have an increased risk of CSA. Adequate education and support for both children and caregivers are necessary to recognize and prevent further sexual abuse. Survey emphasize the urgency of improved education about sexuality and inappropriate sexual behavior for children with intellectual disabilities in out-of-home care, especially in residential care where peers were the main offenders. These children should be taught how to recognize, avoid, decline and disclose unwanted sexual advances. Such education programmes may also teach potential perpetrators about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate sexual advances.

Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jar.12160

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