Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Disability and Sexual Assault

Sandy Guy wrote (Comment and Debate 2.7.12 The Age)  about her distress at the allegations of sexual assault by a staff member at Yooralla involving her largely non-verbal son.  We know that sexual assault is under reported and sexual assault of people with cognitive impairment and communication difficulties occurs at a higher level than the rest of society and is even less reported. Organisations who provide accommodation for people with an intellectual disability need procedures in place to deal with allegations of sexual assault that involved CASAs and the parents' of their residents.  It is not good enough that Sandy Guy finds out information about her son's alleged assaults from sources other than the organisation responsible for his care. 
It is hope that the Making Rights Reality pilot project between the Federation of Commuhity Legal Services and SECASA will improve reporting rates of sexual assault for people with cognitive impairment and communication difficulties by providing intensive support for the victims and assistance for agencies with developing and refining their policies and procedures.

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