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Abuse of people with mental disability

Neža Sluga (2017) Abuse of people with mental disability. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    In the theoretical part of my Master's thesis, I lay out the different types of abuse – namely negligence and physical, psychological, sexual, and economic abuse – and study the degree of their occurrence. I also focus on how persons with mental disabilities (in continuation referred to as PMD) are 2-10 times more likely than their peers to be the victims of, and why the perpetrators are most often family members or people close to the victim. The perpetrator is often someone who provides care and support to the victim. Moreover, aside from domestic sphere, cases of abuse also frequently occur in institutional environments. On the other hand, institutions are often the first to discover and intervene in cases of domestic violence. The risk factors include the dependency of PMD on other people, insufficient research data relating to the abuse of PMD, stereotypes and false convictions about PMD, varying definitions of abuse, and the lack of inter-institutional treatment. The consequences of abuse experienced by the victim can be short-term or long-term, physical or psychological, and can present themselves differently from one victim to another. An important question, which has been answered in the theoretical part of the thesis, is how we could contribute to a decreased number of abuse cases and what roles various institutions and organizations play in discovering and helping the victims of abuse. In the theoretical part, I also focus on what can be done in terms of prevention, and whether any preventive measures in relation to abuse prevention have already been put in place. Additionally, the theoretical part also studies the possibilities of helping PMD who are victims of abuse, determining whether there are any professional services competent for dealing with abuse cases in PMD. In PMD, education and the acquisition of self-determination, empowerment, and self-advocacy skills is of vital importance; hence, the theoretical part also deals with the questions of education and preventive programs. Such programs and workshops help PMD understand violence, successfully recognize it, and determine whether they themselves are the victims of violence. Additionally, young PMD need to be familiarized with their rights, explained what they should do if they are subjected to abuse, and acquainted with the possibilities of prevention. For the empirical part of my thesis, I have drawn up, carried out, and evaluated a string of prevention workshops aimed at teaching young PMD about self-advocacy and empowerment. The workshops comprised seven meetings and were thematically divided according to the following topics: my body, this is me (self-perception), emotions and appropriate or inappropriate behavior, assertive behavior, my rights, my body is only mine, and abuse and where to find help. A part of the workshops, therefore, encompassed the provision of information on what to do in case someone's rights are violated, in case of violence or abuse, and what can be done in terms of prevention. By means of the workshops, I was able to check how aware young PMD are of their rights, whether they know when their rights are violated, and if they know where to seek help. Using the data from the empirical part of my thesis, I can support the theoretical part of my research. I also wanted to find to what extent young PMD can benefit from such workshops in terms of getting familiarized with their rights and in terms of developing self-advocacy and empowerment skills.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: abuse, violence, people with mental disabilities, help, self-advocacy, empowerment
    Number of Pages: 108
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Janez JermanMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11752521)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4804
    Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 09:59
    Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 09:59
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4804

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