Deputy health minister: end sex abuse of disabled

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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 is in response to a recent report that mentally disabled people are much more likely to be sexually abused. She wants to see sexual abuse against this group included in a code to report domestic violence and child abuse. The code helps professional health workers pick up signs of abuse more quickly.

The report 'Limited empowerment', asked around 1800 people with mental disabilities. Out of the women asked 61 percent had experienced a form of sexual violence, varying from rape to intimate touching. Among men this 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. The MP wants a debate on the matter and has announced she will ask questions in the house.'

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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