Sexually abused women with mental retardation: Hidden victims, absent resources

Described sexual abuse (SA) among 14 adult women with mild mental retardation and examined the characteristics and experiences of the SA among them. Ss were interviewed and administered the Socio-Sexual Knowledge and Attitude Test. 11 Ss reported 59 separate instances of SA. Nearly 82% of the survivors were molested prior to their 18th birthday. Sex education did not prevent SA, but instead increased the reporting of SA. Most of the Ss received no medical, psychological, or legal help. Results indicate that barriers are effectively erected that prevent women with mental retardation who have been sexually abused from gaining access to the same essential therapeutic intervention nonretarded women possess. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2002 APA, all rights reserved)
Author: 
Stromsness,Marilyn M.
Notes: 
LA- English AN- 1994-30217-001
Reprint Status: 
IN FILE
Start Page: 
139
End Page: 
152
Journal/Periodical Name: 
Women Therapy
Volume: 
14
Issue: 
3-4
Abstract: 
The author of this report examines the occurrence of sexual abuse experienced by adult women with mild mental retardation. The author collected data from 14 women in a nonclinical population using a 55-item structured interview. The results indicated that approximately 82% of survivors were molested prior to their 18th birthday. While sex education does not prevent abuse the author reports that it appeared to increase reporting. Additionally, the author found that the majority of survivors interviewed had received no medical assistance, mental health, or legal services. The author concludes that women with mental retardation encounter substantial barriers that prevent access to services.
Topic Areas: 
Disabled; underserved populations
Reference Type: 
JOUR
Reference ID: 
383
Publication Date: 
1993