skip to content »


Houston, Texas

People discussing health of women with disabilities
not shown on screen

Reference--Nosek, Howland, Hughes, 2001

The investigation of abuse and women with disabilities: Going beyond assumptions.

Nosek, M.A., Howland, C.A., Hughes, R.B. (2001) The investigation of abuse and women with disabilities: Going beyond assumptions. Violence Against Women, 7 (4) 477- 499.


This article delineates issues that should be considered by investigators endeavoring to conduct empirically sound research on abuse and women with disabilities. These issues include:

1. Incorporating in the research design variables that assess increased vulnerability;
2. Using literature-based definitions that distinguish emotional, physical, sexual, and disability-related abuse;
3. Using population-based sampling methodologies;
4. Securing informed consent;
5 Maintaining confidentiality;
6. Installing safety measures to protect both the study participants and the project staff from retaliation by the perpetrator;
7. Taking special efforts to ensure the inclusion of women with disabilities from minority backgrounds;
8. Using appropriate, validated, disability-sensitive screening instruments;
9. Understanding the legal requirements for reporting abusive incidents;
10. Implementing abuse studies in clinical settings; and
11. Including formative and summative evaluations in outcome studies of abuse interventions.

To increase the capacity of battered women's programs to serve women with all types of disabilities, considerably more needs to be known about interventions that are the most effective for this population.

E-mail this page to a friend