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

Margaret A. Nosek, Carol A. Howland, Rosemary B. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


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 (a) incorporating in the research design variables that assess increased vulnerability; (b) using literature-based definitions that distinguish emotional, physical, sexual, and disability-related abuse; (c) using population-based sampling methodologies; (d) securing informed consent; (e) maintaining confidentiality; (f) installing safety measures to protect study participants and project staff from retaliation; (g) making special efforts to include women with disabilities from minority backgrounds; (h) using appropriate, validated, disability-sensitive screening instruments; (i) understanding the legal requirements for reporting abusive incidents; (j) implementing abuse studies in clinical settings; and (k) including formative and summative evaluations in outcome studies of abuse interventions. To increase the capacity of battered women's programs to serve women with disabilities, considerably more needs to be known about interventions that are most effective for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-498
Number of pages22
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2001


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