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NCJ Number: 97311 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Assault and the Handicapped Victim (From Rape and Sexual Assault, P 139-145, 1985, Ann W Burgess, ed. - See NCJ-97300)
Author(s): E E Rinear
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Handicapped adults and children are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault, and the trauma of sexual assault poses uniquely complex problems for them; prevention efforts and treatment services should be designed to accommodate the special needs and concerns of handicapped persons.
Abstract: Physically or emotionally handicapped persons are vulnerable to sexual assault and the least able to resist attackers. Researchers on victimology have paid little attention to the unique circumstances of the handicapped. Physically handicapped persons may be limited in their ability to detect approaching danger, and emotionally handicapped persons may not be believed when they report an assault. Victim coping behaviors can be grouped according to the phase of the attack. The three phases are the threat of attack, the attack itself, and the period immediately after the attack. The cognitive, verbal, and physical coping strategies used by the victim will vary with the nature and extent of the victim's disability. Obtaining crisis services and legal help can be particularly difficult for handicapped persons. Handicapped children are especially vulnerable to sexual assault. Prevention efforts should focus on the handicapped persons who seem most vulnerable to attack and should include self-defense classes, accessible crisis centers and support groups, and the education of prosecutors and the public about the needs of handicapped victims. Reporting should be encouraged. Institutions caring for handicapped persons should also provide preventive educational programs. Persons working with sexually victimized persons should develop a working knowledge of the needs and problems of handicapped victims. The guidelines and strategies developed by Burgess and others for dealing with handicapped victims should be used. Fifteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Persons with Disabilities; Rape prevention programs; Sexual assault; Sexual assault trauma; Sexual assault victims; Victim services
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