The Sad Situation of Children with Mental and Developmental Disabilities in The Face of Sexual Abuse

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The Sad Situation of Children with Mental and Developmental Disabilities in The Face of Sexual Abuse

According to a review carried out by John Moores University’s Centre for Public Health under the World Health Organization, children with mental and intellectual disabilities are 4.6 times more likely to experience sexual abuse than those without a disability.  According to the world health organization, children and adults with disability are at a higher risk of violence than people who are not disabled. The same review concluded that children with disabilities are four times more likely to experience violence than children with no disability.

Domestic violence
Sexual abuse

These statistics only underscore the vulnerability of people with disabilities in the face of violence and abuse. Crystal Foundation had to introduce the fight against sexual abuse of children with disabilities within its programs after field workers made the same findings.

The situation facing African children with mental disabilities is even worst because most parents confine them at home before they leave. When they are left at home, they remain at the mercy of perpetrators of crime. Most parents discover that their children with mental disabilities had been sexually abused only after the crime has been perpetrated several times.

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The findings of field workers of Crystal Foundation corroborates the conclusion made by Dr Etienne Krug, who is the  Director of the World Health Organization’s  Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability, when he concludes that “the needs of disabled people have been ignored for far too long”

Children are abused everywhere, and most perpetrators go free because the testimony of a person with a mental disability is not valid in courts. The perpetrators only get punished when the crimes are caught flagrante delicto by third parties. Most people with mental disabilities who can testify to the crimes committed against them do not have the courage to tell anyone because of the stigma they face from society and family members.  More needs to be done to protect these children!!

Crystal Foundation is committed to stamping out violence against children with disabilities in all its forms. The World Health Organization believes that what puts people with disabilities at higher risks of abuse includes stigmatization, discrimination, and ignorance.

The evidence on the ground in Africa indicates that the needs of people with disabilities are largely ignored. The help that people with disabilities receive is too little to provide them the right help. While Crystal Foundation is committed to stamping out violence and abuse in all its forms against children with disabilities and has been doing so, the need is great and there are large geographical areas that have not been penetrated. There is need for more volunteers; there is need for more resources on the ground. Special thanks to all who are already making impact on the ground. Click on this link to find out how you can get involved.

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