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Woman with LDs given contraceptive patch because she might be raped

(27 Posts)
RJnomore1 Fri 27-Oct-17 19:41:36

I'm horrified at this.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/oct/27/woman-with-severe-learning-disability-to-get-contraceptive-patch-against-mothers-wishes

She already gave birth to a son. I can totally understand if she wanted to have sex and there was an argument she might get pregnant and not be able to cope but this sounds to be entirely for the reason that they can't ensure she is safe i.e. That she isn't raped again.

Am I missing something?

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 27-Oct-17 19:54:25

It seems from the article that her mother isn't able to care for her effectively due to her own health issues. So they need more support or her daughter needs to be in residential care. Although I'm not convinced that would be any safer. But a contraceptive patch basically says that they think she'll be raped again and they can't prevent it. Which is an awful thing to state.

Flimp Fri 27-Oct-17 19:55:14

This is really difficult to understand due to the problems with reporting on confidential issues.

Does it look like her mother has struggled to keep her safe?

With a 'mental age of 5' this woman's family appear to have failed to protect her from harm and there's no mention of what is being done to protect her now, apart from the contraception.

On the face of it I'm livid that contraception is being used rather than protecting her from predators, but I think there's a lot more to this than we are allowed to be told.

Or actually, I hope there's a lot more to this.

Flimp Fri 27-Oct-17 19:59:17

There are circumstances where people with LD choose to have sex and sometimes, best interest decisions about contraceptives are made for them.

But very worrying that the article seems to be implying that the mother cannot guarantee her safety and no mention of any support from social care to pick up the slack.

Like I said, I really hope there's more to this.

RJnomore1 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:03:12

I really hope there is more too.

It's the implication that she cannot be kept safe from sexual harm so the best we can do is stop her getting pregnant.

Beingrippedoff Fri 27-Oct-17 20:13:06

I work with adults with disabilities and many of the females will be on long term contraception, not because they are sexually active, but because they find their periods so distressing. They are sore, messy, can trigger seizures etc. There may well be more to this than just preventing another pregnancy.

Fairyflaps Fri 27-Oct-17 20:45:52

Even if she wants to have sex, she cannot meaningfully give consent. Long term hormonal contraception seems a sensible option given the epilepsy, but the mother's opposition is odd. The mother seems to be part of the problem and may be resistant to the daughter getting outside help - but this is reading between the lines.

GlitterGlue Fri 27-Oct-17 21:53:48

The full judgment can be found here: www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2017/20.html

Terribly sad, but the right decision I think given the circumstances.

RJnomore1 Fri 27-Oct-17 22:08:03

Thank you glitter.

I've read it and it seems the sole reason for the patch is to prevent pregnancy in a woman who is not capable of consent.

I find that very disturbing.

GlitterGlue Fri 27-Oct-17 22:11:01

What else do you think they could do? The judgment states that there is a plan to keep her safe and the contraction is the back up should that plan fail.

Believeitornot Fri 27-Oct-17 22:11:11

I read it as yes they need to protect her from getting pregnant but it was a backstop. Not the first line of defence.

Sad thing is that social care is so underfunded that it’s come to this.

GlitterGlue Fri 27-Oct-17 22:12:01

And I appreciate that the answer would be for men not to rape, but realistically we know that's not going to happen.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 27-Oct-17 22:15:36

I can see that the judge was very concerned about the extreme distress that the woman was in as a result of the pregnancy, birth and removal of the baby. I can see why there would be a strong urge to prevent that from happening again, if at all possible.

SatansLittleHelper2 Fri 27-Oct-17 22:18:09

The girl may well be capable of consenting or going along with things because she's enjoying it (( sex is enjoyable, even if you have a learning difficulty )) but not capable of making INFORMED consent which is entirely different.

Chances are she also associates with people who enjoy sexual feelings but arent capable of making informed consent too (( male ))......it needn't be that any sexual contact is rape.

FlaviaAlbia Fri 27-Oct-17 22:22:16

I'm reading it as a backup in case safeguarding fails rather than a replacement for it.

It must have been terrible for her to have given birth and had the baby removed.

But I agree that the fact that backup is needed is sad and worrying. I wonder that there's no agencies who should be stepping in on occasions when the mother is admitted to hospital.

SatansLittleHelper2 Fri 27-Oct-17 22:26:41

And my dd attends a SN school.

In the last year there have been at least 4 pregnancies, (( one fell pregnant during a school trip ))all babies have been removed. 2 are currently pregnant, those babies will probably be removed.

My dd is now on the pill. She thinks it's to help with her periods - it isn't. It's so I don't ever have to see the haunted look in her eyes and confusion on her face that some of her friends have had.

My dd also wants a baby. She thinks theyre cute, she thinks she can raise one because she has a babysitting game on her ipad and is good at her job.

My dd has engaged in sexual behaviour with boys in school (( she's 19 )) that doesnt mean she should have to live with the consequences of that behaviour when she doesnt have a clue what it really is.

ZooeyAndFranny Fri 27-Oct-17 23:14:20

I also agree that it might not be as bleak as you are reading it, OP.

This adult woman might wish to have sex but the issue regards consent in the sense that she cannot meaningfully give informed consent as she does not have the mental faculties to understand that while the sex act is enjoyable, it can lead to pregnancy, SDTs.

So in the eyes of the law she has not given meaningful consent (technically raped) but that does not mean she has been forcibly raped against her will.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 28-Oct-17 02:08:04

I agree it seems the right thing to do.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 28-Oct-17 02:12:29

*My dd has engaged in sexual behaviour with
So far as the suggestion that the answer would be for men not to rape presumably a woman with severe learning difficulties but a sexaually mature and a sexually responsive body may well come into contact with adult men in the same situation- where neither appreciate the consequences of what they are doing.

RJnomore1 Sat 28-Oct-17 08:01:16

I can understand and actually agree with the comments above.

I actually don't necessarily disagree with the prescribing of the patch either.

In a situation where two people of similar capacity engage in sexual activity they should be protected from consequences they cannot possibly comprehend.

My concern from this specific case and the reason I posted in feminism is that this does not appear to be the case (although I appreciate there will be some restrictions, I have read the full judgement after someone kindly posted it).

The suspected father is a friend of one brother who has returned abroad and the protection she requires seems to relate to being left in her own home. There is no mention of risk elsewhere that I could spot?

FlaviaAlbia Sat 28-Oct-17 08:19:39

I thought that this bit was highlighting risks of her leaving the home unsupervised of her mother was in hospital or ill and unable to prevent her.

For all her life she has been socially and emotionally extremely vulnerable but is, paradoxically, very sociable and likes to go out to the park; she is also described as capable of being ‘overfamiliar’ with adults, as she was with one of the assessing psychiatrists undertaking an assessment.”

He added: “The underlying vulnerability of the plan is compounded by the fact Miss V shows limited recognition of danger, and no understanding of the fact that she needs to be accompanied when out in the community or the reasons why this may be necessary.

Zoll Sat 28-Oct-17 08:32:42

It's a huge problem. The reality is that in most cases LD women are much more at risk in institutions than at home, unlike other women who are more likely to be assaulted within the family. It's not that they aren't also assaulted within the family, it's that the rates are SO high in institutional settings. Rates of serious and repeated sexual assault, battery and rape run at around 80 or 90% in most survey methods. It hovers around that in all Anglophone countries - don't know about elsewhere.

Bolshy Divas in Australia did some work on this a few years ago.

There are seriously a lot of predators in the care industry. There's no oversight, nobody listens to disabled people, and anyone can get a job as a carer. We just have home care and I have been very lucky and have only been minorly groped, cornered and ground on etc, by two carers. (I'm not disabled, I just live with a disabled person) We think roughly 1/4 of all the male carers we have had have attacked us in some way, either breaking bones, OTT verbal abuse, or sexual aggression. And we are articulate, well connected people. We are bad targets and still... 1/4. I always remember when it first happened we (naive fools) complained, and they just said we had LDs and had misunderstood. Which shows you the pecking order there, right? You can do what you like to people with LDs and then just say they have misunderstood.

BTW I'm not traumatised or anything - that's not my point. My point is that removing her is a sentence of rape in itself, statistically. So what do you do? I don't know. I don't know!

RJnomore1 Sat 28-Oct-17 08:48:15

Oh wow this is a huge issue then.

I posted in feminism because there's something fundamentally wrong to me about saying the way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy from rape is to provide contraception. I can freely acknowledge it's the best thing for the woman and that the rape could be technical if between two people of similar capacity but zoll your post is horrifying.

I am so sorry you experienced that by people who are supposed to take care of you flowers

Batteriesallgone Sat 28-Oct-17 08:58:45

Abuse levels run high and then if the females do get pregnant, it’s explained by oh she was sleeping with a male with LDs. I’ve got family who are carers who have awful stories to tell. Including whistle blowing with nothing being done.

Melony6 Sat 28-Oct-17 10:06:19

The word ‘they’ seems to be bandied about — ‘they’ should do something. But they is you and I , if we are in the support services. It is probably her best option , LD have rights too and she is probably happy to have as normal a life as possible and not locked away which might be the best option.

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