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The identification of environments and cultures that promote the abuse of people with intellectual disabilities: a review of the literature

White, Caroline; Holland, Emma; Marsland, Dave; Oakes, Peter


Emma Holland

Dave Marsland

Peter Oakes


Background The present paper examines the literature regarding abuse within long-stay hospitals and community-based residences for people with intellectual disabilities. Methods Research and policy developments are reviewed, and concerns regarding the reactive nature of much current guidance are noted, highlighting a need for research and strategies which promote greater protection from the onset of abuse. Results and conclusions It is argued that much current thinking attributes abuse to individual deviancy and culpability; however, a greater recognition of the range of causes of abuse and the circumstances in which abuse flourishes is required if we are to develop a full understanding of preventative strategies. This review is concerned with the significance of environments and cultures in increasing vulnerability to abuse. Seven aspects of environments and cultures which promote vulnerability are outlined, offering insights into the processes by which services may deteriorate and abuse becomes established.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date 2003-03
Print ISSN 1360-2322
Electronic ISSN 1468-3148
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 1-9
Keywords Abuse; Culture; Environment; Vulnerability
Publisher URL