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Combating sexually transgressive behavior in care for the disabled through better prevention / News

Disabled care institutions can do even more against sexually transgressive behavior (SGOG). Between people with an intellectual disability, and by employees. The institutions do relatively little to prevent sexually transgressive behavior between clients, with a focus on sexuality, intimacy, relationships and friendships. After incidents, the institutions often separate the perpetrator and the victim by relocation, but that can displace the problem. For employees, better education and open discussion of feelings can help to counteract inappropriate affective relationships within a care relationship. After incidents, a report to the police is important.

That is the conclusion of the Healthcare and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) after an analysis of 173 reports (in three years) about sexually transgressive behavior in care for the disabled.

The inspectorate also looked at the measures taken by the institutions. After a report about sexually transgressive behavior, the Inspectorate asks the healthcare provider to investigate the report himself. The inspectorate then assesses that investigation. The investigation must be about the safety and quality of the care provided before, during and after the reported situation (the reconstruction). In addition, the research should focus on the analysis of the facts and on what the healthcare provider has done or will do to improve quality (the learning effect) and to reduce the chance of recurrence (prevention).

Clients among themselves
Of the 173 reports in the years 2017 to 2019 inclusive, 119 concerned sexual transgressive behavior between clients. Almost all (95%) of the perpetrators and the victims had an intellectual disability. Two thirds of the victims were women, almost all of the perpetrators were men.

After sexually transgressive behavior between clients, most healthcare providers have moved the perpetrator to another healthcare facility or location. Only 20% of the cases were reported to the police. The vice squad sometimes foresees evidence problems and difficulties in questioning perpetrators and victims with intellectual disabilities.

Most general improvement plans consisted of more supervision within the institution, informing employees and striving for better risk assessment among clients.

Sexually transgressive behavior by staff
The Inspectorate received 54 reports over three years about sexually transgressive behavior between employees and clients. Two-thirds of the victims were women. Two-thirds of the perpetrators were men. The perpetrators were usually supervisors; less than 10% of the perpetrators were BIG registered care providers.

In most cases, the employee concerned was dismissed. Almost half of the cases were reported to the police. The most common general improvement plan consisted of better information for employees.

The inspectorate considers reporting to the police important. A conviction usually means that the perpetrator can no longer receive a certificate of good conduct (VOG) for working in the care sector. In addition, the perpetrator can enter the Care and Welfare Warning Register after a report. The inspectorate can also make a note about a perpetrator. Healthcare providers can ask the inspectorate whether an applicant has such a note.

With this publication, the IGJ wants to contribute to (continue to) make sexuality a topic of discussion and to prevent unacceptable behavior in care for the disabled. For sexually transgressive behavior between care providers and clients, there is the Guideline Safe care relationship.

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