Support for relationships and sexual health

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Having romantic relationships and sex are an important part of life for everyone including people with intellectual disability. Support is available around:

  • how to develop and keep relationships going
  • sex
  • sexual identity. Your sexual identity involves who you like and want to have sex with.
  • sexual health. Sexual health means taking care of the parts of your body involved in sex.

Below are a range of services and supports.

 

Sexual health services and information for people with intellectual disability

 

Education and counselling

 

Information and resources

  • Family Planning NSW offers information on sexual health and has clinics where you can book an appointment to see a doctor about sexual health issues
    • Family Planning NSW’s Sexuality and Disability Service helps to support the sexuality needs of people with intellectual disability. Sessions are included in a person’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan. 
      • Also see their Easy Read factsheets called All About Sex that cover many topics including
        • relationships
        • sexual health
        • sexual identity. 
  • SHINE SA offers resources to support the sexual health and relationships of people with disabilities. Resources and training are available online.
  • Tell it Like it is is a Canadian website with information around relationships, dating, gender identity, sexual identity and safe sex for diverse learners.

 

Other services

  • Touching Base supports people with disability who want to access appropriate sex service providers in NSW.

 

Services and support for people who identify as LGBTQ+

 

LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning.

  • Lesbian means women who are attracted to women.
  • Gay means men who are attracted to men.
  • Bisexual means people who are attracted to both men and women.
  • Transgender refers to people who are now a different gender to the one that they were given when they were born.
  • Questioning is if you feel that you might not be heterosexual but you are not sure.

A heterosexual person is a woman who is attracted to men or a man who is attracted to women.

  • Twenty10 helps people in NSW between 12 and 25 years old who identify as LGBTIQA+. Their services are for everyone, not just people with intellectual disability. They provide
    • counselling
    • mental health support
    • social support services.
  • QLife is a chatline that provides free LGBTI peer support and referrals. You can call them on the phone on 1800 184 527 or chat to them online. They are available between 3pm and midnight every day. 

Domestic and sexual violence supports

 

Domestic violence is when someone you know hurts you or makes you feel unsafe. This could be your:

  • partner. Your partner could be your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife.
  • a past partner
  • someone in your family
  • a carer or support worker
  • someone you live with.

There is more information in this Easy Read booklet You can Speak Out if you feel unsafe at home.

Sexual violence is when someone forces somebody to do a sexual activity when they do not want to.

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 000.
  • You can call the NSW Domestic Violence Line if you feel unsafe at home on 1800 65 64 63. You can call them any day at any time.
  • You can also call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. This phone service can help anyone who has experienced sexual violence or domestic violence.
  • Full Stop Australia supports people who have experienced sexual, domestic, or family violence. They have expert counsellors who are available over the phone or online. You can call 1800 385 578 or connect online via their website.