People with disabilities are affected by interpersonal violence in both similar and different ways than folks without disabilities. Specific methods related to a person’s disability may be used to maintain power and control over them, in addition to tactics used against folks without disabilities. This is true for people with all types of disabilities, such as learning, developmental, psychiatric, and physical disabilities.
Individuals with disabilities face sexual violence at an astonishing rate—83 percent of women with disabilities experience sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. For women with developmental disabilities, the incidence is even higher at 90 percent. This violence is perpetrated by a partner in romantic relationships as well as by caregivers.
If you would like to learn more about interpersonal violence against people with disabilities, check out these resources from the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (closed but website is active) about relationship violence and sexual assault. Watch a video by NCCADV by clicking here and choosing “Survivors with Disabilities” on the top menu.
The Office of Accessibility Resources & Service, a part of the Division of Student Affairs, works with departments throughout the University to assure that the programs and facilities of the University are accessible to every student in the University community. Additionally, Accessibility Resources & Service provides reasonable accommodations, so students with disabilities who are otherwise qualified may, as independently as possible meet the demands of University life.
Counseling and Psychological Services, comprised of licensed clinical professionals, is available to assist students in managing academic and personal demands more effectively. All services are confidential.
The Equal Opportunity/ADA Office seeks to facilitate a welcoming and inclusive environment which supports the right of every member of the Carolina community to learn and work in an atmosphere that promotes fairness, equity and access to its employment and educational programs. Receives, investigates, and works collaboratively to resolve complaints of harassment and/or discrimination.
People who provide medical, educational, or assistive services to people with disabilities may find the below resources useful in their work.
North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (closed but website is active)
The NCODH developed training manual for sexual assault and domestic violence service providers, Basic Disability Awareness: Providing Disability-Friendly Sexual and Domestic Violence Services. Goals for training participants include gaining knowledge about how to provide accessible programs, communication, and buildings to all people and how to create a service environment where people with disabilities feel welcome and accepted. The NCODH also created Access for All, a training video for service providers on effective communication and accessibility for consumers with disabilities.
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Provides accessibility guides and accessibility equipment to domestic violence and sexual assault service providers in the state of North Carolina.
Safe Place, a community agency serving survivors of interpersonal violence in Austin, Texas, offers a training guide Stop the Violence, Break the Silence for domestic violence and sexual assault service providers. Additionally, Safe Place developed a guide to providing accessible services for domestic violence and sexual assault programs, entitled Balancing the Power: Creating a Crisis Center Accessible to People with Disabilities. A number of other educational and programming materials on interpersonal violence against persons with disabilities are available to order from Safe Place here.
An agency serving people with disabilities in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, Independence First offers multiple educational materials, for interpersonal violence service providers, disability service providers, and people with disabilities experiencing violence.
Center for Research on Women with Disabilities
CROWD offers compilations of research conducted on interpersonal violence and women with disabilities, policy change recommendations, and disability resources for service providers such as accessibility guides, a screening tool, and safety planning tools.