Almost 90% of autistic women report experiencing sexual violence, according to a new study

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The prevalence of sexual abuse may be up to three times higher for women who are on the autism spectrum, compared to those who are not, reports a new study from France. This is the largest survey specifically investigating the vulnerability of autistic women and the results will improve treatment strategies for victims, as well as prevention programs worldwide.

As many as nine out of 10 autistic women in France report have suffered sexual violence, shows a new study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. This is one of the largest studies to date focused specifically on this population. In contrast, previous research has shown that the rate of sexual aggression against non-autistic women is one in three, suggesting that offenders are three times more likely to target autistic women. The results also revealed that most victims had been assaulted multiple times, that this began when they were young and that they were rarely able to report the abuse or receive care. These findings will guide better prevention and treatment programs.

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