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Abuse of Women with Disabilities

Women with disabilities are often more vulnerable to abuse and face 
additional barriers. Society’s negative images and myths about women 
with disabilities increase the risk of abuse.
What may make women with disabilities more vulnerable to abuse?
• The disability often gets used as the basis for the inequity in the relationship.
• Destruction of property can often be more dangerous if an assistive device or a helping dog is harmed.

• They may not have access to support services.
• Women who have difficulty walking, understanding, hearing, or speaking
may be unable to flee, get help, or report their abuse or may not be
believed when they do.
• They are often not considered to be capable parents if parenting support
is needed.
• Some women may not be aware they are experiencing abuse.
• The abuser may have blamed them for their illness or disability or have
told them they are making it up or seeking attention.
• They may have been made to feel worthless by the abuser.

For more information, see Making Changes, 8th edition