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Save the Children Norway
Researcher Marit Hoem Kvam has carried out four studies commissioned by Save the Children concerning sexual abuse of disabled children. The studies show that disabled children are more often subjected to sexual abuse and that they are more vulnerable than other children. The reasons are complex. One reason is that these children often have several carers, which increases their vulnerability, and that they might have difficulties communicating that any abuse has taken place. The children have low credibility, and behavioural changes caused by the abuse are treated as if they were related to the disability. Save the Children is issuing this summary in order to highlight the situation and encourage a debate in professional circles, in user-organisations and wherever decisions are made. The summaries in this booklet give an overview of : • A study of international literature giving an indication of the prevalence of sexual abuse of disabled children. • a study of what happens in Norwegian hospitals in connection with the medical examination of children one suspects have been abused sexually. • a mapping of deaf children’s situation relating to possible abuse during their childhood. • a study of blind children’s situation relating to abuse.