Women With Disabilities may be Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

by Rajashri on Oct 31 2008 4:22 PM

Women with a disability are more prone to intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes than those without a disability, a new study has found.

Presented at the American Public Health Association's 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, the study used data collected from seven states and one territory as part of the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

The researchers associated with the project examined disability prevalence and differences in intimate partner violence (IPV) among women with and without a disability.

They found that disabled women's likelihood of experiencing some form of IPV in their lifetime was 37.3 percent, compared with the 20.6 percent likelihood of those without any disability.

The study also revealed that there were 28.5 percent chances that women with a disability would be threatened with violence, compared with 15.4 percent likelihood for their normal counterparts.

The chances of being hit, slapped, pushed, kicked or physically hurt by an intimate partner were also 30.6 percent for women with a disability, compared with 15.7 percent for those without a disability.

Women with a disability were more likely to report ever experiencing unwanted sex by an intimate partner than those without a disability.

"This epidemiologic evidence identifies an opportunity for federal, state and local stakeholders to form new partnerships to better align disability and violence prevention programs and policies," said Dr. Brian Armour, lead researcher on the study.

"Furthermore, it identifies the need for comprehensive violence prevention programs that will enhance public awareness to reduce violence against women with a disability," the researcher added.