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Link between Disability & Intimate Partner Violence

Research shows people with disabilities are at greater risk of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV).

Featured in the Annals of Epidemiology, “The Association between Disability and Intimate Partner Violence in the United States” analyzes data from the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), an ongoing survey of U.S. adults.

Study Highlights

Compared to women and men without a disability, women with a disability were significantly more likely to report experiencing:

  • Rape
  • Sexual violence other than rape
  • Physical violence
  • Stalking
  • Psychological aggression
  • Control of reproductive or sexual health

Men with a disability were more likely to report experiencing:

  • Stalking
  • Psychological aggression by an intimate partner

Based on study findings, prevention efforts should provide for the unique needs of people with a disability.

While early recognition and professional intervention can help reduce ongoing IPV, other studies suggest assisting a person in contacting an appropriate service, or providing a safe space for a person to contact needed services, can also make a difference.

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