In this blog post I want to speak about something called ‘intimate citizenship’ and people with learning disabilities. This article is written in Easy Read, so that lots of people can read it. You can access this article as a PDF, here: Intimate Citizenship and Learning Disability
What is “intimate citizenship”?
Intimate citizenship brings these together to refer to our rights and access to equality within our intimate lives – the spaces in our lives where we love and care for others, ourselves and our bodies.
Whether we are single, in a relationship, want to have a family, or be part of a family, we should have access to intimate rights which include things like who we love; where we live; and our sexual health.
Why does intimate citizenship matter?
For most people, intimacy is important to happiness and well-being. Many of us enjoy intimacy and closeness in our private and personal lives, whether it comes from friends, family members or romantic and/or sexual partners.
But, intimate citizenship also relates to our rights to say no to intimacy if we don’t want it, and our rights to not be sexually abused, raped or exploited. Women with learning disabilities experience greater rates of sexual violence than women without learning disabilities.
Our intimate citizenship can also include things like:
Researching intimate citizenship?
In September 2015, researchers Katherine Runswick-Cole, Dan Goodley, Kirsty Liddiard, Jen Slater and Jodie Bradley and Vicky Farnsworth from Speak Up Self-Advocacy are going to Toronto, Canada, to speak with other researchers and self-advocates from all around the world about intimate citizenship.
The aim of the trip is to think about how researchers and self-advocates can work together in future research to explore how people with learning disabilities can be better supported within their intimate lives.
To learn more, check out some of these free Easy Read resources (click on the title or the picture):
Images by Easy on the i, NHS UK