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Understanding violence when the perpetrator has an intellectual disability: The perceptions of professionalsThe research sought to enhance professional understanding of the violence perpetrated by some people with an intellectual disability. The violent behaviour exhibited by some people with intellectual disabilities remains poorly understood, particularly with regard to a clear and informative definition. A qualitative study investigated the views and perceptions of professionals working directly with people with an intellectual disability in different settings. Twenty-two semi-structured interviews were undertaken with professionals from a variety of backgrounds, and four themes were generated through data analysis. Themes produced comprised the degree of intellectual disability, impulsivity, intentionality and unpredictability. Findings indicated tension between understanding violence as purposeful and explaining it in relation to the intellectual disability and/or additional conditions. Intellectual disability is central to understanding the impact of the other three themes, though there is a professional reluctance to use such knowledge as evidence to inform practice.