Sexual abuse involving children with an intellectual disability (ID): a narrative review

I.B. Wissink, E.S. van Vugt, X. Moonen, G.J.J.M. Stams, J. Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The current paper provides a narrative review of the literature on sexual abuse, involving children with Intellectual Disability (ID). The thirteen articles that were found and met our criteria vary in their definitions of sexual abuse and in how ID was determined. Still, they do paint a general picture concerning (1) the extent of sexual abuse, (2) the nature of the sexual abuse, and (3) the institutional reactions following sexual abuse of children with ID. Our findings confirm the greater vulnerability of children with ID to become involved in sexual abuse both as a victim and as a perpetrator, and we discuss ways to help strengthening prevention and intervention methods. Nevertheless, more research is needed, as it is still a rather unexplored topic, which is striking in light of the high vulnerability of this group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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