Knowledge of sexual abuse and resistance ability among children with intellectual disability

N Jojo, P Nattala, S Seshadri, P Krishnakumar, S Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sexual abuse is a global concern among children with intellectual disabilities. Sexual abuse is frequent and long-lasting when the victim is a child with an intellectual disability. Moreover, the rate of sexual abuse is two to eight times the rate in the general population.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the knowledge of sexual abuse and resistance ability among children with intellectual disabilities.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: The study was conducted among 120 children with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities attending twelve schools for specific purposes.

METHODS: We adopted a cross-sectional design to assess knowledge and resistance ability. Personal Safety Questionnaire and Modified What If Situation Test were administered verbally during individual interviews. Institutional Ethics Committee approved our study.

RESULTS: Current study suggests that children with intellectual disabilities have average knowledge (M = 6.6, SD = 1.6) regarding sexual abuse. More than 90 % of children demonstrated poor reporting skills. Although children exhibited good knowledge in differentiating appropriate from inappropriate touch requests, most children reported they would not disclose this incident to anyone.

CONCLUSIONS: This study strongly suggests the need for a structured training program for children with intellectual disabilities to prevent sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105985
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume136
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Child
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Sex Offenses
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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