Autism Safety and Unsafe People

sad boy

I had to think hard about how to approach the topic of unsafe people with children and adults with autism.  I don’t want to give the impression that all autistic people are at risk of getting hurt by sexual abuse.  On the other hand, if an autistic child/adult has limited or no speech, it would be impossible to know.

Unfortunately, as a child, I had experienced it.  Since I didn’t talk, my mum wouldn’t have known.  I was a very passive, non-communicative child, so did the predator see me as an easy target?

Why don’t children tell?

“Children often feel a sense of guilt over the abuse, and they may also experience self-destructive thoughts or a loss of trust or self-esteem.”  Full article here.  This article is about all children, not only autistic children.

“Mansell, Sobsey, and Moskal (1998) note that the rates of sexual abuse for children with developmental disabilities are nearly two times greater than for typical children.”  Full article here.

From the same website are what to say if your child has been abused:

What can I say or do to help my child who has been abused?

Helpful things you can say to your child that will support them:

  • I believe you.
  • I know it’s not your fault.
  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
  • I don’t know what will happen now.
  • You don’t need to take care of me.
  • I am upset, but not with you.
  • I am angry at the person who did this to you.
  • You can still love someone but hate what they did to you.
  • I love you.

What can you do to keep them safe?

I don’t have the one single answer to that.  There are plenty of books and articles online that are helpful.

About Eileen Parker 100 Articles
Support a starving writer, by buying my current book, The Weighted Blanket Guide, on Amazon. I'm a writer working on my fourth book. I live in the Twin Cities with my husband. Between us, we have four children.