Looking beyond prevalence: a demographic profile of survivors of intimate partner violence with disabilities

J Interpers Violence. 2014 Nov;29(17):3167-79. doi: 10.1177/0886260514534776. Epub 2014 Jun 5.


The abuse of individuals with disabilities is a widespread problem that has received minimal attention in scholarly research on intimate partner violence (IPV). As a result, the literature offers neither a general demographic profile of IPV survivors with disabilities nor an examination of the relationships between IPV and individuals with specific types of disabilities. This article addresses these gaps by reporting the results of a retrospective case study review of 886 client files, covering an 8-year service period in a non-residential domestic violence disability program. The study examined key demographics along with familial, social, and contextual aspects of IPV among women with disabilities, and provides crucial information for service providers who must understand the multifaceted and unique needs of survivors. Findings are discussed in terms of their relevance to abuse-related outcomes and corresponding best practices with this population.

Keywords: abuse; disabilities; intimate partner violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Battered Women
  • Demography
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survivors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult