Sex abuse of disabled must end says minister

13th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Deputy Health Minister Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten wants to put an end to sexual violence towards the disabled.

In a letter to parliament, she says she wants to break the taboos surrounding the issue. Her letter comes in response to a recent report which says mentally disabled people are much more likely to be sexually abused. The deputy minister wants this type of abuse to be included in a code about reporting domestic violence and child abuse. The code helps professional health workers detect signs of abuse more quickly.

The authors of the report - entitled 'Limited Empowerment' - surveyed around 1,800 people with mental disabilities. Of the women questioned during the research, 61 percent reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse of violence, varying from rape to intimate touching. Among men the figure was 23 percent.

Labour MP Khadija Arib wants the government to protect this vulnerable group. She accuses the deputy minister of not doing enough. Ms Arib wants a debate on the matter and has said she will ask questions in parliament. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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