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Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
November 2016

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The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

Expand view

Abstract
The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Move together now! Community and youth mobilisation for HIV prevention among young people in Uganda

MINISTRY OF GENDER, LABOUR AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
2008

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This guide covers basic ideas on community mobilisation, youth participation and participatory tools with examples from Africa. It aims to equip users with competencies to develop the capacity of communities and young people to work together to address sexual and reproductive health (including HIV) needs of young people in Uganda. It provides tools and processes for mobilising young people and communities at various stages and planning activities for HIV prevention

The straight talk campaign in Uganda : impact of mass media initiatives

ADAMCHK, Susan E.
et al
September 2007

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This summary report presents the findings of an evaluation of the Straight Talk mass media communication programmes to inform youth in Africa about sexual and reproductive health, which have been implemented in Uganda since 1993. The campaign was delivered through a radio show and two newspapers - one aimed at primary school children and one at secondary school students

Voluntary counselling and testing : a gateway to linking HIV and sexual and reproductive health

INTERNATIONAL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION (IPPF)
July 2007

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This publication identifies approaches and issues to Voluntary Counselling and Testing by drawing on the experiences of three sexual and reproductive health organisations in Cambodia, Uganda and Nepal. While the settings and client profiles of each organisation differ, the human rights based approach towards testing and counselling emerges clearly from these case studies. This publication includes an overview of the different types of HIV testing and highlights some of the different and, at times, conflicting views on the essential elements of HIV testing, and on the means by which universal access to HIV testing should be achieved

Tell me more : children's rights and sexuality in the context of HIV/AIDS in Africa

THOMSEN, Sarah C
2007

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This report explores the strategies that children have developed for dealing with sexuality and relationships in the face of HIV and AIDS; and provides stakeholders with a coherent rights and youth-oriented knowledge base for the development of a sexual and reproductive health agenda for advocacy. It gives an overview of sexual rights with a focus on children’s rights, including their access to sexual and reproductive health information, as endorsed by relevant international conventions and policies. It also looks at the concept of sexuality and the sexual development of children. The report includes a summary of children’s reflections on issues of sexuality and their coping mechanisms for preventing the transmission of HIV and AIDS. Based on these findings, the report makes recommendations for effective responses that would support children’s existing coping mechanisms and enhance their ability to protect themselves

Edutainment for development and sexual health [whole issue]

2002

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This issue of Sexual Health Exchange includes articles on performance art / theatre for development projects in 12 countries. The diverse projects described tend to focus on social change as well as behaviour change communications, and range from peer education projects to edu-clowns to mass-media soap operas

The world starts with me!

World Population Foundation (WPF)
Butterfly Works

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This is an online curriculum in sexual health and rights education, HIV and AIDS prevention, life and creative skills, for young East Africans. The programme is aimed at 12-19 year olds, both school going young people and early school leavers. It combines IT skills building and creative expression. It aims to contribute not only to the improvement of the sexual and reproductive health of young people, but also to their social and economic development

Women, sex and disability : a triple taboo

NELSON, Daniel

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This article describes how sexuality appears to be a major taboo for disabled women in the regions of Africa and India. It highlights how sexual discrimination towards disabled women exists in society and how they are often at a greater risk of contracting HIV and AIDS

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