Adults who do not have capacity to consent to sexual relations may be sexually active. They are unlikely to use contraception and concern about confidentiality remains the biggest deterrent to seeking advice.
Sexual crime and the fear of sexual crime, has a profound and damaging effect on the lives of individuals, their families and the community in general. It is therefore important that any staff or volunteers who work with adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect are aware of their responsibilities when dealing with these issues. It is crucial to get the balance right between safeguarding individuals from sexual abuse, and ensuring that they are also able to access advice and treatment about contraception, sexual and reproductive health, including choice and control over fertility and when or if to start a family.
Staff and volunteers who work with adults at risk therefore need to be informed about the legality of sexual relationships and understand where they can access advice and support for those adults at risk who are unable to give consent.