Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Key Points-- Sexual abuse of women with disabilities is usually committed by caregivers and most attacks occurred in the women's residence. Summary-- This review article evaluated quantitative and qualitative research on all kinds of abuse of women with disabilities. Despite the preliminary nature of most of the studies and some methodological issues, there is evidence that abuse rates are higher among people with disabilities, and some barriers to services are unique to this group (e.g., lack of physical access to victim service sites). Across studies, friends, family members, caregiving staff, and other service users (in institutional settings) were the most common perpetrators; the majority of victims were female and the majority of offenders were male. The authors provide information on abuse screening tools for use with disabled populations. Several prevention programs developed for people with developmental disabilities are also described. The authors recommend including routine screening for abuse in all medical and rehabilitation settings. More research is needed to determine if groups with different disabilities have different risk factors. Limitations-- This is a review article, and it is not clear that the literature review was complete.