Maybe he’s caring: responding to disabled women who experience domestic abuse

dogbod2017, blog

by Dr Jenna Breckenridge In this post Dr Jenna Breckenridge (Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh) explores the unique domestic abuse experiences of disabled women and discusses opportunities and challenges for improving the response to this important issue. Disabled women are two times more likely to experience domestic abuse than non-disabled women. A large study of domestic abuse prevalence across Europe (including 28 different countries) found that 50% of disabled women have experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime[1]. Disabled women are four times more likely to experience sexual abuse [2]. On average, disabled women experience abuse for up to 2 years longer than non-disabled women [3]. This is a significant problem in which gender discrimination and the widespread oppression of disabled people, known as disablism, collide. Disablist attitudes portray disabled people as weak and dependent, meaning that perpetrators may perceive disabled women to be easier to control and overpower. Society often portrays disabled women as asexual, undesirable and undeserving of intimate relationships and, as a result, they are often disbelieved when they disclose domestic abuse. This is especially the case when the perpetrator of abuse is also the woman’s main carer. A unique form of abuse Although disabled women experience all … Read More