Over 4,500 Reports Of Sexual Abuse Against Disabled Adults In Two Years

Specialist Abuse Lawyers Call For Improved Safeguards For Vulnerable People

18.05.2015

New figures obtained by the BBC have indicated that 4,748 reports of sexual abuse against adults with disabilities were made to 106 local councils in England in the last two years.

Specialist sexual abuse lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have expressed concern over the number of reports and called for significant improvements in the safeguards in place to prevent disabled adults from becoming victims of sexual exploitation.

The figures indicated 63 per cent of the reports related to sexual abuse against those with learning disabilities, while 37 per cent of reports were made by those with physical disabilities.

According to Jon Brown, the head of sexual abuse programmes at the NSPCC, the abuse reported to the local authorities that responded to a Freedom of Information request, shows just “the visible peak” of a much larger problem.

Tracey Storey, a Partner and expert sexual abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“The number of reports relating to sexual abuse committed against disabled adults is extremely concerning and it is important the vulnerable members of our society are protected against offences of this nature.

“It is vital awareness of this issue is increased and the resources are put in place to ensure the people coming forward are given the help and support they need.

“From our work, we know just how hard it can be for survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation to come forward with their complaints and it is absolutely crucial they are treated correctly and reassured that their allegations will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

“Hopefully, these figures will alert local councils and the police to the scale of this problem and ensure more is done in the future to protect vulnerable people and prevent them from suffering abuse of this nature.”
Tracey Storey, Partner