Hidden voices: disabled Women’s experiences of violence and support over the life course

Sonali Shah, Lito Tsitsou, Sarah Woodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Violence against women is a worldwide social and human rights problem that cuts across cultural, geographic, religious, social, and economic boundaries. It affects women in countries around the world, regardless of class, religion, disability, age, or sexual identity. International evidence shows that approximately three in five women experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. However, across the globe, women and girls with impairments or life-limiting illnesses are more susceptible to different forms of violence across a range of environments and by different perpetrators including professionals and family members as well as partners. However, they are likely to be seriously disadvantaged in gaining information and support to escape the abusive relationships. This article stems from the United Kingdom part of a comparative study with three other countries (Austria, Germany, and Iceland) funded by the European Commission (EC; 2013-2015). It presents preliminary findings, generated from life history interviews, about disabled women’s experiences of violence and access to support (both formal and informal) over their life course and their aspirations for the prevention of violence in the future. The article includes examples of impairment-specific violence that non-disabled women do not experience. By bringing the voices of disabled women into the public domain, the article will facilitate a historically marginalized group to contribute to the debate about disability, violence, and support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1210
JournalViolence against Women
Issue number10
Early online date13 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

Shah, S., Tsitsou, L., & Woodin, S. (2016). Hidden Voices: Disabled Women’s Experiences of Violence and Support Over the Life Course. Violence Against Women, 22(10), 1189–1210. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801215622577


  • disabled women
  • violence
  • support
  • life course
  • barriers


Dive into the research topics of 'Hidden voices: disabled Women’s experiences of violence and support over the life course'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this