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Developing vulnerability: a situational response to the abuse of women with mental disabilities

Lindsey, J. (2016) Developing vulnerability: a situational response to the abuse of women with mental disabilities. Feminist Legal Studies, 24 (3). pp. 295-314. ISSN 0966-3622

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10691-016-9330-z


In this paper I present a critical analysis of the English law relating to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, in particular how the law impacts on the sexual lives of adult women with mental disabilities. I consider the discourses of vulnerability that surround the different legal regimes and whether the emerging theoretical vulnerability literature can assist in developing more nuanced legal responses. I argue that the inherent jurisdiction and Care Act 2014 provide an opportunity to move away from the focus on inherent features of vulnerability such as mental disability towards a more nuanced, situational and embodied account of what it means to safeguard ‘vulnerable adults’. This has the potential to be developed in England through the new legal framework of the Care Act and can be achieved through targeting interventions against the situational causes of vulnerability, for example the perpetrators of sexual violence.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:111793

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