Abuse Assessment Screen-Disability (AAS-D): Measuring Frequency, Type, and Perpetrator of Abuse toward Women with Physical Disabilities

Texas Woman's University, 1130 M.D. Anderson Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Journal of Women s Health &amp Gender-Based Medicine 12/2001; 10(9):861-6. DOI: 10.1089/152460901753285750
Source: PubMed


An interview questionnaire was presented to a multiethnic sample of 511 women, age 18-64 years, at public and private specialty clinics to determine the frequency, type, and perpetrator of abuse toward women with physical disabilities. The four-question Abuse Assessment Screen-Disability (AAS-D) instrument detected a 9.8% prevalence (50 of 511) of abuse during the previous 12 months. Using two standard physical and sexual assault questions, 7.8% of the women (40 of 511) reported abuse. The two disability-related questions detected an additional 2.0% of the women (10 of 511) as abused. Women defining themselves as other than black, white, or Hispanic (i.e., Asian, mixed ethnic background) were more likely to report physical or sexual abuse or both, whereas disability-related abuse was reported almost exclusively by white women. The perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse was most likely to be an intimate partner. Disability-related abuse was attributed equally to an intimate partner, a care provider, or a health professional. This study concludes that both traditional abuse-focused questions and disability-specific questions are required to detect abuse toward women with physical disabilities.

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    • "Experiences of abuse were measured through the use of the Abuse Assessment Screen–Disability (AAS-D) scale (McFarlane et al., 2001). Students were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and disability-related abuse within the last year. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence and sexual assault of college students has garnered increased attention and publicity. Current studies have focused primarily on general campus populations with little to no attention to students with disabilities. While studies suggest the rate of abuse of individuals with disabilities is similar or higher compared to the general population, there remains a lack of focus on this issue. Individuals with disabilities are at particularly high risk for abuse, both through typical forms of violence (physical, sexual, emotional, and economic) and those that target one's disability. In an effort highlight and explore this issue further, an exploratory study was conducted to learn the rates of abuse among university students who have identified as having a disability. This is a cross-sectional survey of 101 students of students with disabilities from a large northeastern public university. Experiences of abuse were measured through the use of the Abuse Assessment Screen- Disability (AAS-D) scale. Students were asked about experiences of physical, sexual, psychological, and disability related abuse within the last year and help seeking behaviors when an incident of abuse occurred. We found that 22 % of participants reported some form of abuse over the last and nearly 62% (n= 63) had experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse before the age of 17. Those who were abused in the past year, 40% reported little or no knowledge of abuse-related resources and only 27% reported the incident. Authors discuss implications results have for programs and policies on campus for individuals with disabilities. © The Author(s) 2015.
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    • "At all three times of testing, participants completed an abuse awareness scale and measures of abuse and safety knowledge, safety skills, safety selfefficacy , social network and support, and safety promoting behaviors. Lifetime Abuse Experience was assessed using the Abuse Assessment Screen– Disability (AAS-D; McFarlane et al., 2001) that asks about physical, sexual, and disability-related abuse The abuse variable used in analyses represents the number of different types of abuse the participant experienced, ranging from 0 (none of the four) to 4 (all four types of abuse). Although the AAS-D was originally developed to measure past year abuse, the stem of each item was modified to evaluate lifetime abuse. "
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    ABSTRACT: Women with diverse disabilities (N = 213), recruited through 10 centers for independent living (CILs), were randomly assigned to either a personal safety awareness program or usual care. The 8-week program, led by CIL staff, was designed to increase safety awareness, abuse and safety knowledge, safety skills, safety self-efficacy, social support, and safety promoting behaviors. All participants completed pre-, post-, and 6-month follow-up questionnaires. Results revealed that participation in a brief safety awareness program may improve safety protective factors among women with disabilities who vary widely in their experience with abuse. The program holds promise for enhancing safety among women with disabilities.
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