Violence against women with physical disabilities.

This study explored risk factors for violence among a sample of adult women with physical disabilities. Fifty-six percent (100) of the 177 women participating in the study indicated a positive history of abuse. Of the women who reported abuse, most reported multiple abuse situations and abusers who were typically their male partners. In addition, only a small proportion of women sought and received adequate help. Women who indicated that they did not seek help were asked why this was the case. Their responses included: feeling that they could handle it themselves, having other sources of support available, being unaware of where to go, feeling embarrassed, feeling guilty about being a burden or that it was their fault, fear that abuser would come after them, fear of not being believed, and, to a lesser extent, concern that the shelter would lack appropriate accommodations. These findings highlight the importance of intervention strategies including advocacy activities for women with disabilities, activities with schools, activities to deter and prevent partner and caregiver violence, community awareness activities, and dissemination activities.