Research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer domestic violence and sexual assault than women without disabilities. And women with disabilities report abuse that lasts longer and is more intense than women without disabilities.
Like other women, women with disabilities usually are abused by someone they know, such as a partner or family member. In addition, women with disabilities face the risk of abuse by health care providers or caregivers. Caregivers can withhold medicine and assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or braces. They can also refuse to help with daily needs like bathing, dressing, or eating.
If you are being abused by someone you rely on to take care of you, you may feel trapped. If you can, reach out for help to someone you trust, such as a doctor, family member, friend, or neighbor.
Other publications and websites
- Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Outreach (Copyright © National Domestic Violence Hotline) – This fact sheet discusses what deaf women can do if they are in an abusive situation.
- Responding to Abuse Against Women with Disabilities: Broadening the Definition of Domestic Violence (Copyright © Family Violence Prevention Fund) – Women with disabilities tend to suffer from additional types of abuse. This paper explains power and control in a care-giving relationship and how health care providers can help.
- Victims With Disabilities Face Unique Challenges (Copyright © National Center for Victims of Crime) – This article discusses the unique challenges facing people with disabilities who are stalked or abused. It talks about the prevalence of stalking and abuse among women with disabilities, describes how an abuser might manipulate a person with a disability, and explains why protection from an abuser can be hard for women with disabilities to get.
Connect with other organizations
- Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services
- National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women
- Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
- Office on Violence Against Women, DOJ
- Women’s Health, (2015), “Violence Against Women With Disabilities.” Retrieved fromhttps://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/types-of-violence/violence-against-women-with-disabilities.html
- Office on Women’s Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services