NHS Health Scotland Surveys

Consultation - Gender-based Violence and Learning Disability: Guidance for Practitioners

People with learning disabilities have a right to develop personal and sexual relationships like everyone else. With the right support and access to education, the majority of people with learning disabilities are able to engage in safe, healthy and happy personal and sexual relationships. We recognise however that people with learning disabilities are at a greater risk of experiencing gender-based violence, therefore this guidance is to help staff identify signs that someone may be at risk and how you can respond appropriately.


The guidance aims to provide a framework for frontline staff who work with people with mild or moderate learning disabilities, or significant learning needs, and/or work with people who have experienced gender-based violence.


Responses are anonymous but we ask for your job title and organisation so that we can tell if changes are needed to make the guidance appropriate for different sectors. The questions are split into three main sections as outlined below.


General Feedback


  1. Is the purpose of the guidance clear?
  2. Is it clear who this guidance is for?
  3. How is the guidance helpful for your role?
  4. What are the strengths of the guidance?
  5. What are the weaknesses of the guidance?
  6. What areas or actions are not included in the guidance that should be?


Section Feedback


If you would like to comment on particular areas of the guidance please complete the following questions. Consider if the content is clear, appropriate and helpful to your role. Highlight any issues and suggest improvements.


  1. Principles, definitions and background (pages 2-9)
  2. Prevent, identify and ask about abuse (pages 9-15)
  3. Working with other agencies and responding (pages 15-21)
  4. Case studies (pages 22-26)
  5. Working with perpetrators, support for staff and support organisations (pages 27-31)
  6. Appendices (pages 35-40)


Closing Comments


  1. Please share any general comments you have on the content of the guidance.
  2. Are you likely to use this guidance when published?


We may contact some respondents if we need clarification on some of the points raised. If you are happy to be contacted, please add your email address at the end. Please note that this would mean your responses would be identifiable during analysis, however your information would not be used for any other means nor would your identity be shared with others.