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Sexuality, learning disability and the law: Thinking together

Sexuality, learning disability and the law: Thinking together

Capacity, Intimacy, Consent & Harmful Behaviour

This symposium focused on issues of sexuality of people with learning disabilities, autism, or both, and those who support them.  It brought together different perspectives to tackle questions such as ‘How to give effect to the right to an intimate life; what are the obstacles and how might they be overcome?’ The symposium also looked at alternative approaches to addressing harmful sexual behaviour outside the criminal justice system; approaches which nurture healthier relationships. The event acted as a launch for a network of interested persons and organisations committed to bringing about change in this area.

Download a comprehensive write up of the day here.

The Howard League for Penal Reform hosts annual awards which celebrate and champion work in the community which challenges and changes people for the better. The Howard League believes that projects which help keep people out of the criminal justice system, by providing alternative effective and targeted interventions will reduce the risk of re-offending.

Respond is a London based charity with over 25 years’ experience of working with people with learning disabilities, autism, or both, who are survivors of trauma or abuse. Its COSA service is a community based initiative which supports those who display harmful sexual behaviours to live safe and fulfilling lives.

Respond was awarded the Howard League for Penal Reform Community Award 2018 in the Restorative Approaches category for its Circles of Support & Accountability (COSA) service. The judging panel commended the service for its innovative work with this “complex and much neglected client group”.

Our hosts, Doughty Street Chambers, were established in 1990 and have an international reputation as a first class set of barristers’ chambers. Its ethos is to improve access to justice and promote civil liberties through the law.

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