Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of coercive behavior that is used by one person to gain power over another person. It may include the use of physical and sexual violence, verbal and emotional abuse, stalking and economic abuse.
Members of certain groups have unique vulnerabilities when experiencing domestic violence. Members of specific populations may be harmed by behaviors when nonmembers would not. It is important to note that members of specific populations are subject to all forms of abuse as experienced by general populations.
Multiple small-scale, but few large-scale studies, exist about domestic violence against individuals with disabilities, particularly in the United States. Existing small-scale studies report that nearly 40% of women with disabilities report being victims of domestic violence, a percentage far higher than the general population (Nosek & Howland, 1998). Acts of domestic violence against individuals with disabilities include withholding needed medications and assistive- technologies.
For individuals with disabilities, Significant barriers to reporting exist, which include fear of losing a caregiver, inability to verbally communicate as a result of a disability, and fear of not being taken seriously, among others. From: http://www.vaw.umn.edu
The key to effective social action is collaboration. Addressing violence against people with disabilities requires a shared commitment and a coordinated response from the entire community, including: government, local business, law enforcement, judicial system, education system, health care providers, social services, non-profit agencies, individuals with disabilities, etc.
DART meetings are held in conjunction with the Central Peninsula Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force every other month.
DART is a multi-disciplinary group aiding people who experience disabilities and who have been victims of domestic violence/sexual assault.The Cordova Family Resource Center and Independent Living Center, with support from the Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, work together and are committed to helping anyone who experience disabilities and who are victims of interpersonal violence.