0808 2000 247 Free phone 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge

Topic: Disabled women

braille Your questions
I need a refuge with wheelchair access...

survivors-handbook Survivor's Handbook
Info and support for disabled women.

dog Jade's story
"He threw me out of my wheelchair..."

sign-language Info for deaf
Info on domestic abuse in British Sign Language provided by Community Legal Advice.
Reports, research etc.
Useful info on disability and domestic abuse.

Disability Discrimination
View the new code of practice on disability discrimination.

disability-poster Disability poster
Free poster and leaflet on disability and domestic violence produced by Women's Aid.

disabled-womanDisabled women are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Research has shown that disabled women experience abuse at least twice as often as non-disabled women. Abusers - including personal assistants (P.A.s) and carers -  may exploit a woman's particular condition or impairment.  There are also additional barriers that a disabled woman must overcome when she seeks help. 


It's common for abusers to use a disabled woman's impairments to control and hurt her through:


Physical abuse: pushing her onto the floor when she is unable to get back up, hitting her when she cannot get away, ignoring her care needs.

Sexual abuse: disabled women are twice as likely to be raped or assaulted.

Psychological abuse: control of contact with the outside world, telling her that no one else would want her because of her impairments, locking her in a room, refusing to take her to the bathroom (if she cannot get there without assistance), hiding her possessions including the aides she needs to be independent.

Financial abuse: not allowing her to have any financial independence, having to beg for everything she needs, having her disability benefits taken from her, taking money from her without her permission or knowledge.

Getting away from abuse is often harder for a disabled woman because access to help and support is often controlled by the abuser.

Women's Aid have published a report which explores disabled women’s experiences of domestic violence and investigates existing service provision available to them.

Access the report:
Making the links - disabled women and domestic violence