A UN Study from 2006 suggests that 90% of people with intellectual impairments will experience sexual abuse at some point in their life, most frequently from family members or others in their close environment. Empowering young people who have a learning disability to protect themselves against sexual abuse and violence requires acknowledgement and respect of their sexuality from their carers alongside guidance on protection and appropriate behaviour.
IPPF EN Regional Office launched the KEEP ME SAFE project “Empowering young people with learning disabilities to protect themselves against sexual abuse and violence across Europe” between 4 and 6 March 2013. This is a two-year European-wide initiative coordinated by IPPF EN and co-funded by the European Commission (DG Justice – Daphne III Programme).
The project aims to harness the best practice, expertise and proven strategies on the prevention of sexual abuse and violence against young people with learning disabilities from the most experienced Member Associations. The project will disseminate the skills, tools and strategies among the partnership and beyond and will initiate a strategy calling on the intervention of young people with learning disabilities and their carers. It is a partnership between Member Associations with different roles:
- The “expert group”: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
- The “learning group”: Denmark, Macedonia and Latvia.
- The “entry-level group”: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Spain.
The project has five different phases:
- A mapping of the skills and needs within the partnership will be carried out.
- The creation of a comprehensive package of tools, based on existing tools and the creation of a technical assistance hub
- The roll-out of the comprehensive package of tools with support in the form of trainings, technical assistance, mentoring and exchange visits which will be given to the entry-level and learning partners
- Direct intervention by the Member Associations in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Romania and Spain who will get the opportunity to initiate work or to expand their work in this area.
- Dissemination and sharing of the tools
This project is funded by the European Commission Daphne III Programme.