Domestic violence and disability in India explored in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals

Sonali Shah*, Ashwini Deshmukh, Caroline Bradbury-Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is well-recognised that domestic violence and abuse (DVA) has significant health and social impacts on people who experience it and that women are disproportionately affected. When DVA intersects with disability, the impacts can be exacerbated. Disabled women experience emotional, physical and sexual abuse at higher rates than the women in the general population. Moreover they experience disabilist violence and simultaneous oppression across the life course at personal, organisational and societal levels. This is also a problem across the globe. The plethora of specific impacts upon women when DVA and disability intersect is addressed quite extensively in extant literature. We suggest the importance of using an intersectional framework of analysis to understand the particular experiences of DVA for disabled women in India. First, we (re)visit some of the general literature about DVA and disability, and how the intersection of these incites multiple discrimination for disabled women. This is followed by an exploration of these in the context of India. We have chosen India because it complements other chapters in the book but also, it is a country that is known well by the authors either through residency, parentage or work. In the latter part of the chapter we focus on what is being done in India to tackle the discrimination of disabled women who experience DVA. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are used as a discussion framework in this section of the chapter. We use the conclusion to draw the chapter together, hopefully leaving the reader informed about the place of the SDGs and other policies in tackling DVA and disability. Although much of our discussion focuses on India, the majority of issues that we explore are transferable quite readily to other countries and contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Domestic Violence and Abuse
EditorsJohn Devaney, Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Rebecca J. Macy, Carolina Øverlien, Stephanie Holt
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000358421, 9780429331053
ISBN (Print)9780367334857
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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