Sex, Personal Relationships and the Law for Adults with Learning Disabilities explains how law and policy in England and Wales should inform support for adults with learning disabilities in matters related to sex and relationships. Drawing on his extensive experience, David Thompson explains how legislation provides a critical structure to support services’ decision making and how to lawfully and ethically navigate the many complex issues involved.
This informative and practical guide covers how to decide if a person with learning disabilities can consent to a sexual relationship, and what response is required depending on the outcome of this assessment under current law. The author addresses the tension between supporting relationships and trying to prevent and respond to sexual abuse. Consent issues related to marriage, civil partnerships and decisions about contraception, sterilisation and pregnancy are also explored.
The book focuses on the law in England and Wales as these countries share the same legislation regarding the capacity to consent to sex. The Sexual Offences Act (2003) and the Mental Capacity Act (2005) in particular are covered in depth. The author explores key cases that have gone to court and asks how the judgements from these cases need to inform responses to people with learning disabilities in similar situations. Case studies are also included throughout, providing thought-provoking examples of the powerful influence law, policy and practice have on the lives of people with learning disabilities.
This handbook is intended for those who work with people with learning disabilities. However, the legislation discussed equally applies to other individuals where there are concerns about their ability to consent to sex and relationships, such as people with dementia, brain injury or mental health needs.
Publication: 09 March 2018
The Mental Capacity Act
The Sexual Offences Act
Civil partnerships, marraige and forced marraige
The requirement to report sexual abuse
Female genital mutilation
The sexual experiences of people with learning disabilities
Sex involving a women and a man
Sex involving two men
Consent under the Mental Capacity Act
Assessing capacity under the Mental Capacity Act
Best interests decisions
Decisions around contraception, sterilisation and pregnancy under the Mental Capacity Act
Abuse of trust
Online sexual abuse and 'sexting'