Analysis

Poor advice exposes children to risk of sexual abuse

Children with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation than other children because they are given sub-standard advice from poorly trained professionals

Children with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation than other children because they are given sub-standard advice from poorly trained professionals.

A troubling report by a coalition including Barnardo’s, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) and The Children’s’ Society reveals that inadequate relationship counselling, social isolation and the tendency to treat vulnerable teenagers as if they were from a younger age group heighten the risk of sexual exploitation.

Perpetrators recognise these failings, and exploit them by deliberately targeting the most vulnerable young people.

Education

The report, Unprotected, Overprotected, calls on the government to improve the teaching of young people about the risks they face, and reinforce the message that it is their right to refuse consent. It also asserts that existing national and local policies for protecting vulnerable children are not being implemented.

RCN professional lead on learning disability nursing

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