Yukon launches sexual education program to help people with intellectual disabilities

A new sexual education and abuse prevention program in the Yukon aims to help people with intellectual disabilities.

Program aims to help people understand boundaries and appropriate behaviour

'For lots of families, it's an uncomfortable topic,' said Colette Acheson, executive director of the Yukon Association for Community Living. (CBC)

A new sexual education and abuse prevention program in the Yukon aims to help parents and caregivers talk to people with intellectual disabilities about sexuality. 

"For lots of families, it's an uncomfortable topic," said Colette Acheson, executive director of the Yukon Association for Community Living. 

Acheson said people with intellectual disabilities may not know what normal sexual boundaries are.

"They may have never been taught what is appropriate consent, what is age-appropriate, what is situation-appropriate, and so they're sometimes doing things or mimicking behaviours that they have sort of seen other people doing, except they got it wrong," she said.

"There are lots of cases that are in the courts now, and in the prisons now, of people who inadvertently did things that they really didn't know were wrong."

Acheson said people with intellectual disabilities want to have healthy sexual relationships, but parents and caregivers often don't know how to talk to them about it.

"They don't necessarily know how to talk to their child about sexuality, how to gauge their level of understanding about these issues."

The program starts with drop-in sessions later this month and continues throughout the year.

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