Some groups of people in society need extra attention with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights. They are at greater risk of failing victim to sexual harassment or becoming perpetrators. They are also at greater risk of unwanted pregnancy or contracting STIs and may even have experienced the latter. Repetition of risks and sexually unhealthy behaviour should be avoided.
Fortunately, young people tend to be flexible and they can be helped to change their sexually risky behaviour to positive sexual and relational behaviour. The young people from risk groups are usually low educated and come from problem families. Youth Welfare (Jeugdwelzijnswerk) aims to help these vulnerable young people and the young people concerned are well known to the relevant Youth Care Organisation (Jeugdzorg), Child Protection Body (de Kinderbescherming) or the law.
Chronically ill or disabled people
Young people and adults who are ill or physically/mentally challenged need special care. They often show specific problems with respect to their sexual and reproductive development and health. When illness or disability happens at a young age, relational and sexual development can be influenced. Illness or disability also often leads to mental problems. When this occurs later in life adaptations with regard to relational and sexual behaviour are often called for.
Due to a disability, people may be much more vulnerable to sexual violence, because they are physically or mentally less empowered, but also because there is a grey area between the care required and unwanted contact.
The biggest problem for these vulnerable (young) people is their environment. Parents or professional care providers find it very difficult to decide whether sexuality education is appropriate in this case and they often do not see this as a right of the person concerned.
Policy and professionall staff
Contact with these groups is usually made through specific care services, both in residential and out-patient settings. Prevention of sexual misconduct and acceptance of sexuality require policy to be in place as well as professional staff to enforce it. However, these requirements often tend to be absent.
Healthy people can also be confronted with sexual dysfunctions, such as feeling pain during sex or erectile dysfunction. These problems may severely hamper sexual well-being and therefore deserve our attention.