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Summary

This practical two-day course is essential for anyone working with people with intellectual disability. It debunks the myths surrounding sexual assault and builds understanding of how people with intellectual disability experience sexual assault and abuse. It takes participants through their obligations and equips them with a toolkit of strategies they can use to support victims of sexual assault as well as decrease vulnerability through capacity-building of people with intellectual disability and helping to create safer environments for them.

People with disability have the same rights as every individual in the community to be free of and protected from abuse. These rights are represented in legislation at international, national and  state levels.

Despite these protective measures, people with disability experience much higher rates of sexual assault. Many will have experienced repeated incidences of sexual assault by the time they are 18 years old and people with an intellectual disability are especially vulnerable. Sexual assault most likely occurs in locations where they live due to their disability (home, residential support, institution, day program, etc.) and perpetrated by people on whom they depend on for support.

Effective responses to sexual assault is hampered by outdated myths surrounding sexuality, sexual assault and people with disability. These deeply and sometimes unconsciously embedded myths help perpetuate varying levels of denial that exist regarding the sexual assault of people with intellectual disability. As a  result, clear indicators of sexual assault are ignored and/or the response to disclosure is inadequate. The vulnerability of these victims of sexual assault is not addressed and they remain in environments that are unsafe alongside their assaulters.

This training package is designed for service providers to people with disability. It will equip participants with an in-depth understanding of preventative approaches to violence and abuse. It will help them to recognise where workplace cultures can impede best practice responses to sexual and other violence, and give them strategies for addressing these issues. This training builds on understanding and competency and addresses and focuses on the following:

Learning Objectives

  • To equip staff working with people with intellectual disability to gain an understanding of sexual assault focusing on their client group.
  • To provide the information needed by staff to respond appropriately to cases of sexual assault including information on legislation, services available, rights of persons with intellectual disability and ways to respond supportively.
  • To recognise the indicators and effects of sexual assault and offender behaviour.
  • To assist staff to explore attitudes and concerns which impact upon people with intellectual disability who may have been victimised sexually.
  • To identify ways of responding to disclosures within a casework framework.