A CAMPAIGNER is calling for help to allow disabled people to have more choice over their relationships.

Chris Fulton, of Wensleydale Drive, off Bilford Road, Worcester, wants Government to adopt a grant scheme which would entitle disabled people to visit prostitutes.

A similar scheme is already in operation in Holland, where disabled people are entitled to have sexual relations funded by the government up to 12 times a year.

In the UK, paying for sex is not against the law but it is illegal to solicit sexual services, kerb crawl and pay for sex with women who have been coerced into prostitution.

One council has used taxpayers’ money to pay for the services of a prostitute in Amsterdam for 21-year-old man with learning difficulties as part of his care package under new policies which transfer funds directly to those who receive care from social services.

Mr Fulton, who has cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, said such a scheme would allow greater freedom for disabled people and help to break down barriers.

The 29-year-old said: “The idea is to give disabled people more of a choice. There’s still a lot of stigma attached [to disabled people having relationships] from research I’ve done and experiences I’ve had.

“I think it would be good to bring the Dutch scheme over here to take away that stigma about disabled people having sex.

“But it’s not just about that. It’s about disabled people being accepted when they have relationships. It’s 2013, it’s not the dark ages. I’m well aware it’s controversial.

“It needs to be brought out into the open in a managed and constructive way.

“I’ve tried other more conventional ways of meeting people.

“It would give disabled people more freedom if that was a route they wanted to go down.”

Mr Fulton added that prostitution would need to be regulated if such a scheme were to be introduced in the UK.

Neil Coyle, director of policy and campaigns at Disability Rights UK – a charity which provides help and support to over 500,000 people each year – said the topic was not something that had been raised as a priority by those it represents.

He said: “There would need to be a wholesale change of the law and then the means of people using public money to purchase these vouchers.

“Were it to be changed, then it would be within the person’s power to use existing benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and direct payments to cover the cost.

“At Disability Rights UK, we have a lot of other issues that are priorities at this time and the main concerns are around getting any benefits at all.”

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