Domestic Violence & Disabilities
This section addresses the issue of women with disabilities abused by an intimate partner (versus general caretaker or other relationship). Similar to the non-disabled population, women comprise the majority of domestic violence victims with disabilities, although disabled men can also experience abuse. Here we will use the model of the female victim and the male perpetrator.
How many women have disabilities?
About 250 million women in the world live with some type of disability (www.independentliving.org), including 25 million women in the United States (Baylor College of Medicine, Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD), www.bcm.edu/crowd).
What types of disabilities affect women?
The range of disabilities can include: physical disabilities that inhibit motor movement, sensory (blind and vision impaired, deaf or hard of hearing), developmental disabilities (mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy), psychological disorders (depression, anorexia, substance/alcohol abuse, post traumatic stress disorder), autism spectrum disorders (including Aspergers), acquired brain injury (ABI) and other neurological disabilities. These impairments may be singular or multiple, resulting from birth, accident or injury (which may or may not be related to domestic violence).