Thousands of disabled people have been sexually abused in past two years according to figures

People with learning difficulties made up nearly two thirds of the reported incidents

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The Independent Online

Nearly 5,000 disabled adults have been abused in England according to figures from the past two years.

According to freedom of information requests by the BBC, people with learning difficulties formed nearly two-thirds of the reported incidents.

Information from 106 councils revealed 4,748 reported cases of sex abuse against disabled adults, in what the NSPCC described as the “visible peak” of what may be a bigger issue.

Jon Brown, the NSPCC’s lead on tackling sex abuse, said that while the figures focused on adults, disabled young people could also be victims of abuse.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Brown said: “We know with sexual abuse that many victims find it difficult to speak out.

“We know from research that disabled children and young people are three or four times more likely to be abused and neglected than children and young people who are not disabled.

“Abusers are often very adept at identifying vulnerabilities. Importantly, we know that it’s less likely for children and young people to be believed as well.”

The Local Government Association said that "keeping people safe, including people with learning disabilities, is one of the most important things councils do".

It said: “Councils work hard to ensure support is available when cases of abuse are referred.”