Report: Handicapped children at higher risk of being abused

Danish report shows that mentally handicapped kids are three times more vulnerable to being sexually abused

According to a new report from the Danish Center of Social Science Research (VIVE), children who are mentally handicapped are far more susceptible to being sexually abused than kids who are not.

The report (here in English) showed that mentally handicapped children were three times more vulnerable to being sexually abused.

“They find it more difficult to say no and often lack a protective network,” Mogens Christoffersen, a senior researcher from VIVE and author of the report, told

“They have more difficulty in picking up warning signals and understanding when something is wrong. Typically, they also have lower self-worth and trust less in themselves.”

READ ALSO: Childhood stress can lead to premature death – report

Over a decade of data
The report is based on over 8,000 police reports involving school children aged 7-18 who were victims of a sexual crime between 2001 and 2012.

The findings showed that 27 percent of the abused children had autism, 30.8 percent had ADHD and 8.1 percent had suffered a brain injury.

Several of the children had more than one handicap and came from socially-vulnerable families – over a third came from families with alcohol or drug problems.

The research has been published in a scientific publication, Journal of Interpersonal Violence.