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Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

NHS Health Scotland is working with the Scottish Government, COSLA and partners across health and social and the third sector to tackle gender-based violence towards women with learning disabilities.

19 March 2019 9:30
19 March 2019 15:30
200SVS 200 St Vincent Street Glasgow G2 5SG

Event description

Women with learning disabilities have the right to personal and sexual relationships free from coercion, harm and abuse. Yet they are at greater risk of domestic abuse, sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence

The conference was attended by frontline staff and managers based in health and social care, learning disability and violence against women services, as well as education providers and community planners.

This conference aimed to:

  • Explore the issues around sexual and reproductive rights and relationships in the context of gender-based violence
  • Consider good practice in supporting women with learning disabilities and responding to gender-based violence
  • Give an opportunity to engage with others across sectors to explore how to best support women and improve the service response
  • Provide practical tools for supporting staff to promote safe relationships, identify and respond to abuse and know where to get further information and help.

 Keynote addresses came from:

  • Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities
  • Councillor Elena Whitham, Spokesperson for COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Board
  • Sarah Goff, Researcher, Development Manager: Safeguarding Disabled Children, University of Nottingham / Ann Craft Trust


Workshops included:

  • Role of local government, local authorities and Violence Against Women Partnerships in driving the local area response to gender-based violence and learning disability
  • The rights of parents with learning disabilities
  • Understanding capacity, consent and protection from abuse
  • Relationship, sexual health and parenthood information
  • Supporting women with learning disabilities who have experienced domestic abuse
  • Supporting women with learning disabilities in sexual health services