A survey of experiences of abuse

A survey of experiences of abuse Purpose – People with a learning disability remain at increased risk of abuse and neglect due to a number of factors associated with learning disability per se and the culture in which they live. Understanding the prevalence of abuse within this population allows for appropriate planning and service development. Understanding more about the type and frequency of abuse (and the perpetrators) facilitates prevention of abuse. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – All clients allocated to a psychologist between 2009 and 2011 were included in this survey. The psychologist reported whether the client had experienced any abuse over their lifetime. Information regarding the type of abuse experienced, the relationship to the abuser, and the number of different episodes of abuse was recorded. Findings – Of the 695 clients in the survey 25 per cent had experienced abuse. Of this 25 per cent, 46 per cent were men and 54 per cent were women. In all, 23 per cent of the group who had experienced abuse were referred to the service as a direct result of abuse, whilst 77 per cent were referred for another reason. The most prevalent types of abuse were emotional (27 per cent), sexual (24 per cent), physical (20 per cent), and neglect (12 per cent). Originality/value – Prevalence rates within this study are broadly in line with the existing literature. However, differences included high levels of emotional abuse, and high frequency of abuse perpetrated by women, and by family members. Psychology services should routinely screen for abuse experiences and be alert to the possibility of abuse from female caregivers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tizard Learning Disability Review Emerald Publishing

A survey of experiences of abuse

Tizard Learning Disability Review, Volume 19 (3): 8 – Jul 2, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1359-5474
D.O.I.
10.1108/TLDR-06-2013-0031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – People with a learning disability remain at increased risk of abuse and neglect due to a number of factors associated with learning disability per se and the culture in which they live. Understanding the prevalence of abuse within this population allows for appropriate planning and service development. Understanding more about the type and frequency of abuse (and the perpetrators) facilitates prevention of abuse. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – All clients allocated to a psychologist between 2009 and 2011 were included in this survey. The psychologist reported whether the client had experienced any abuse over their lifetime. Information regarding the type of abuse experienced, the relationship to the abuser, and the number of different episodes of abuse was recorded. Findings – Of the 695 clients in the survey 25 per cent had experienced abuse. Of this 25 per cent, 46 per cent were men and 54 per cent were women. In all, 23 per cent of the group who had experienced abuse were referred to the service as a direct result of abuse, whilst 77 per cent were referred for another reason. The most prevalent types of abuse were emotional (27 per cent), sexual (24 per cent), physical (20 per cent), and neglect (12 per cent). Originality/value – Prevalence rates within this study are broadly in line with the existing literature. However, differences included high levels of emotional abuse, and high frequency of abuse perpetrated by women, and by family members. Psychology services should routinely screen for abuse experiences and be alert to the possibility of abuse from female caregivers.

Journal

Tizard Learning Disability ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 2, 2014

Keywords: Abuse; Intellectual disability; Prevalence; Neglect; Case note review; Clinical psychology services

References

  • Sexual abuse of adults with learning disability
    Beail, N.; Warden, S.
  • Vulnerability of witnesses with learning disabilities: preparing to give evidence against a perpetrator of sexual abuse
    Green, G.
  • A prevalence study of sexual abuse of adults with intellectual disabilities referred for sex education
    McCarthy, M.; Thompson, D.
  • The impact of abuse of men and women with severe learning disabilities and their families
    O'Callaghan, A.C.; Murphy, G.

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