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New help for disabled abuse survivors

MULTIPLE studies conducted over the past ten years have shown children with a disability to be at a higher risk of being abused.

Now, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) has launched new resources addressing a shortage of support materials for adult survivors of childhood abuse with a disability.

The new booklet offers advice for adult survivors of child abuse who have a disability or health condition, including neurodiverse and Deaf survivors, as well as explaining the impact of the abuse and making them aware of their workplace rights.

The VERA Institute of Justice suggest that children with a disability are three times more likely to experience sexual abuse than other children, a number which increases to 4.6 times more likely if the disability is mental or intellectual. Whilst a review conducted by The Centre for Public Health concluded that ‘children with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than their peers who are not disabled’.

Speaking at the launch of the latest booklet, Chief Executive Gabrielle Shaw said:

“There is very little research into the intersection of disability and abuse. That is why we wanted to create a booklet that acknowledges the questions and concerns of disabled survivors of child abuse. Children with any type of disability are at a higher risk of abuse, which is why this is such a necessary resource.”

 The booklet also notes that disabled children often experience abuse over a longer period of time because the perpetrator exercises more control over the child. Consequently, the perpetrator can manipulate the child and other adults with relative ease, using the child’s disability to dismiss claims of abuse or to justify untoward behaviours.

Figures from the Children’s Commissioner estimate that only one in eight children who are sexually abused are known to the police and children’s services, whilst according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, there are approximately 8.5 million UK adults who experienced at least one form of child abuse.

This NAPAC resource is part of a series of free booklets that give guidance on recovering as an adult from any type of abuse or trauma in childhood.

  • NAPAC is a national charity offering support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.
  • Confidential support line, open 10am-9pm Mon-Thu & 10am-6pm Fri: 0808 801 0331.



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