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The stories in this category cover all types of abuse including physical, sexual, domestic, financial, emotional abuse, mate crime and poor support.
- Behaviour and emotions: self-injury, withdrawal, aggression and violence, depression, fear, shock, stress, emotional over-eating, poor self-care;
- Disclosure and safeguarding: communication tools, role of social worker, counsellor, reporting abuse, police statement;
- Support for victims: counselling and therapy, Victim Support, safe house, advocacy, behaviour support plan, rebuilding of self-esteem and confidence;
- Criminal justice and offender rehabilitation: arrest, abusive behaviour support group.
People with learning disabilities are more likely to be the victims of abuse than the rest of the population. Vulnerable adults and children may not realise that the way they are being treated is abusive, especially in the case of intra familial and domestic abuse. Limited social networks, low self-esteem, poor support and communication difficulties can all make it more difficult for a person with an learning disability to disclose abuse that is happening or happened to them in the past. Many people remain in contact with an abuser for fear of isolating themselves socially by rejecting an abusive relationship. A great deal of support may be needed to help anyone to disclose and escape from abuse.
Someone with no or limited verbal communication may express their distress following abuse through a change in their behaviour. They might become aggressive or violent because they are angry about what has happened or they may become withdrawn or depressed. Sometimes people hurt themselves in response to trauma. When someone begins to behave in a way that is out of character, this change can often be a sign that something is wrong and every effort should be made to find out what is causing that person’s distress.
Abuse is not always of just one kind but may be a combination of neglect, emotional, physical, sexual, financial or domestic abuse. Any form of abuse is serious and if a child or an adult tells you they have been a victim of abuse or that they are in danger, or if you have reason to believe they have been abused, you must report it immediately to the police or to the local authority social services department.
Following abuse some people may need counselling or psychotherapy to talk through what happened to them. Some people may not need therapy to deal with their experiences but will still need a supportive network around them. It is important to understand that it might take a long time for a person who has been abused to recover, both physically and emotionally. Whilst physical injuries can heal quickly, it can take months or even years for a person to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem. Communication is key to ensuring that you are providing the help and support that a person wants and needs.
Our books help a wide range of people who understand pictures better than words, but their main audience is people with a learning disability, also known as an intellectual or developmental disability in other parts of the world.
This is a lifelong disability that may affect thinking, learning, emotional (adaptive) functioning and independent living skills. This sort of disability is distinct from a specific processing impairment, like dyslexia or attention deficit disorder. In the UK these impairments are typically referred to as “learning difficulties”, but this term is also preferred by some people with developmental disability, so the meaning is becoming blurred as people self-define.
As well as the primary audience, the books are often useful to people with low levels of literacy or specific processing impairment (“learning difficulties”, as per the traditional definition above), as well as people with sensory disabilities, other communication disorders (e.g. associated with dementia), and second language users.
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