Physical and sexual assault of women with disabilities. Violence Against Women, 12, 823-837

Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Violence Against Women (Impact Factor: 1.33). 10/2006; 12(9):823-37. DOI: 10.1177/1077801206292672
Source: PubMed


North Carolina women were surveyed to examine whether women's disability status was associated with their risk of being assaulted within the past year. Women's violence experiences were classified into three groups: no violence, physical assault only (without sexual assault), and sexual assault (with or without physical assault). Multivariable analysis revealed that women with disabilities were not significantly more likely than women without disabilities to have experienced physical assault alone within the past year (odds ratio [OR] = 1.18, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 0.62 to 2.27); however, women with disabilities had more than 4 times the odds of experiencing sexual assault in the past year compared to women without disabilities (OR = 4.89, 95% CI = 2.21 to 10.83).

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    • "Each encounter increases the risk for abuse and neglect just by the large number of interactions an individual with a disability may have to address medical and care issues. The physical, emotional, and/or financial dependency individuals with disabilities often have on their caregivers, who may also be their abuser, has been suggested as a risk factor for abuse (Martin et al., 2006; Swedlund & Nosek, 2000; Thomas, Joshi, Wittenberg, & McCloskey, 2008). The dual role of intimate partner or caretaker and abuser creates a bind for the person being abused as he or she may fear losing the one person who cares for them on a daily basis. "
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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.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 05/2015; DOI:10.1177/0886260515581906 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    • "There is strong evidence that women with serious or chronic mental illness experience higher rates of violence than women in the general population [1,2]. A review of 11 studies that focused on serious mental illness and victimization found that women had a 13 to 19 fold increased risk of experiencing any violence compared to women in the general population [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is strong evidence that women with serious or chronic mental illness experience higher rates of violence than women in the general population. Our objective was to examine the risk of intimate partner violence (IPV), a form of violence that is often recurrent and linked to negative physical and psychological consequences, among a representative sample of non-institutionalized women with activity limitations (ALs) due to a mental health condition. Data from the 2009 General Social Survey were used, a national, population-based, cross-sectional survey. The sample included 6851 women reporting contact with a current or former partner in the previous five years, of whom 322 (4.7%) reported a mental health-related AL always/often or sometimes RESULTS: The prevalence of any IPV was highest among women with mental health-related ALs always/often (54.4%), followed by women reporting ALs sometimes (49.9%), and those reporting no ALs (18.3%, p < 0.0001). The same pattern was observed for emotional (51.1%, 45.5%, 16.3%, p < 0.0001) and financial IPV (18.1%, 9.5%, 4.0%, p < 0.0001). For physical/sexual violence, rates were similar among women reporting mental health-related ALs always/often and sometimes, but were lower among those reporting no ALs (20.2%, 20.9%, 5.9%, p < 0.0001). In a logistic regression analysis the odds of having experienced any IPV remained greater for women reporting ALs always/often (OR = 3.65; 95% CI: 2.10, 6.32) and sometimes (OR = 3.20; 95% CI: 2.15, 4.75) than those reporting no ALs. Several social capital variables, including perceptions of having experienced discrimination, a weak sense of belonging in their local community, and low trust toward family members and strangers were also significantly associated with having experienced IPV. Findings suggest that women with mental health-related ALs may be at increased risk of IPV. Health and social service providers may need, therefore, to better target prevention and intervention initiatives to this population.
    BMC Public Health 01/2014; 14(1):51. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-51 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Evidence from worldwide studies show that women are more likely to experience violence from their male intimate partners than from other family members, acquaintances and strangers (WHO 2013). This is also true for women with disabilities, with research showing that male intimate partners are the most common perpetrators (Cockram, 2003; Martin, et al., 2006; Milberger, et al., 2003; Smith, 2008). Intimate partner violence (IPV) is often classified by three main types of violence, which most often intersect. "

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