An Exploratory Study on the Work of Independent Living Centers to Address Abuse of Women with Disabilities

By Swedlund, Nancy P.; Nosek, Margaret A. | The Journal of Rehabilitation, October-December 2000 | Go to article overview

An Exploratory Study on the Work of Independent Living Centers to Address Abuse of Women with Disabilities


Swedlund, Nancy P., Nosek, Margaret A., The Journal of Rehabilitation


During the past 20 years, considerable research has been conducted on the problem of domestic violence in the United States. Researchers have studied causes of domestic violence, its effects on victims, and the effectiveness of various types of interventions with perpetrators and victims. However, a review of the literature found very little research on domestic violence against women with disabilities. The needs of women with disabilities are often an afterthought in the development of battered women's programs. Moreover, the needs of women with disabilities who are experiencing abuse are often not addressed by programs serving people with disabilities. This article focuses on the services of independent living centers (ILCs) to women with disabilities who are experiencing abuse.

Review of the Literature

Prevalence of Abuse of Women with Physical Disabilities

In one of the few studies to address violence against women with disabilities, Young, Nosek, Howland, Chanpong, and Rintala (1997) compared 421 women without disabilities to 439 women with physical disabilities. They found that 13% of the women with physical disabilities had experienced physical or sexual abuse during the past year. The most common perpetrator of physical abuse was a husband or live-in partner. These authors found the prevalence of abuse of women with physical disabilities by husbands or live-in partners to be similar to the prevalence of this type of abuse for a comparison sample of women without disabilities. However, women with physical disabilities experienced physical or sexual abuse for a longer duration than women without disabilities (3.9 years vs. 2.5 years, U = 31529.5, p = .02).

Nosek, Walter, Young, and Howland (in press) found that women with disabilities have a significantly larger number of abuse perpetrators (M = 3.15, SD =2.16) than women without disabilities (M = 2.77, SD = 1.93), F (1,531) = 4.522, p = .034.

Schaller and Fieberg (1998) also studied the problem of abuse of women with disabilities. These authors found that the incidence of all types of abuse among women with disabilities cited in various studies ranges from 33% to 83%. According to their commentary, abuse by a spouse or intimate partner may have a negative impact on the woman's self-esteem and may also involve economic and social deprivation. The process of recovery from abuse involved re-establishment of a sense of control and safety.

These studies make it clear that women with disabilities are in need of abuse intervention services to the same extent as women without disabilities. In fact, they tend to have a longer duration of abuse. Moreover, they are subject to particular types of abuse, such as abuse by attendants and health care providers, which are less likely to occur to women without disabilities (Young et al., 1997). In addition, women with physical disabilities may have more difficulty obtaining help to deal with the abuse. They may lack information on domestic abuse services or existing services may be physically inaccessible. A woman with a physical disability may have transportation problems limiting her ability to access help. Her abuser may be the person who provides her personal care, thus she may fear losing her independence if she reports the abuse. Disability-related services are one of the few sources of help accessible to women with disabilities who are experiencing abuse. However, disability service providers may not be trained to address abuse and may lack information on local abuse intervention services (Young, Nosek, Walter, & Howland, 1998).

The Role of Rehabilitation Counselors in Addressing Abuse

Just as the literature on domestic abuse often fails to address the role disability may play in abuse, the literature on disability has done little to address abuse as an important issue for women with disabilities. However, as noted previously, research indicates that women with disabilities experience abuse at approximately the same rates as all women.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Exploratory Study on the Work of Independent Living Centers to Address Abuse of Women with Disabilities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.