Understanding the experience of crime victims with disabilities and deaf victims

Beckie Child, Oschwald Mary, Ann Curry Mary, Rosemary B. Hughes, Laurie E. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Interpersonal violence is a serious problem for adults with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to understand experiences of crime victims with disabilities and barriers they faced when reporting crime. Fifty-two adults with disabilities whose interpersonal violence was reported to law enforcement participated in focus groups investigating their experiences and recommendations. Participants identified barriers and improvement strategies related to disability identification and disclosure, victim involvement and blaming, credibility and misunderstandings, communication challenges, and accommodations. Barriers exist for people with disabilities navigating the criminal justice system. A need for improved understanding between the disability community and law enforcement was noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-267
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Policy Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Abuse
  • Crime victim
  • Criminal justice
  • Deaf
  • Disability
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Law enforcement


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