Impact Feature Issue on Violence Against Women with Developmental or Other Disabilities

From the Editors

NOTE: This issue of Impact has been archived because some of the information it contains is out of date. (Effective August 2012)

A major civil rights, quality of life, and health issue for women with developmental and other disabilities is the presence of violence in their lives. Women with disabilities experience the highest rate of personal violence –violence at the hands of spouses, partners, boyfriends, family members, caregivers, and strangers – of any group in our society today. Yet, they are often invisible in the crime statistics, frequently find community services such as domestic and sexual violence programs inadequately prepared to fully understand and meet their needs, face disability service systems that don’t clearly see and effectively respond to the violence, and are all too commonly devalued and unsupported because of societal prejudice. In this issue of Impact, we examine violence as it impacts women with developmental and other disabilities – what we know, what we don’t know, and what needs to be done to prevent it and to help women recover from it. We offer strategies and ideas for bringing together disability service providers, sexual and domestic violence programs, law enforcement and the justice system, policymakers, researchers, and women with disabilities – presenting these articles in the hope that this epidemic will soon end.