Brief Report
Issue Date: July/August 2020
Published Online: May 21, 2020
Updated: June 22, 2020
Occupational Deprivation Among Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence Who Have Physical Disabilities
Author Affiliations
  • Michelle S. Ballan, PhD, is Professor and Associate Dean of Research, School of Social Welfare, and Professor, Department of Family, Population & Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, the State University of New York.
  • Molly Freyer, PhD, is Project Director, School of Social Welfare, Stony Brook University, the State University of New York; molly.freyer@stonybrook.edu
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Columns: Brief Report
Brief Report   |   May 21, 2020
Occupational Deprivation Among Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence Who Have Physical Disabilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2020, Vol. 74, 7404345010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.038398
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2020, Vol. 74, 7404345010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.038398
Abstract

Importance: Women with disabilities face a heightened risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) compared with those without disabilities. The damaging impact of IPV compromises the ability of survivors with disabilities to competently and independently engage in daily occupations.

Objective: To examine the impact of occupational deprivation on survivors of IPV who have physical disabilities.

Design: The findings presented in this article are part of a larger qualitative study. Semistructured interviews were conducted over the course of 18 mo, primarily focusing on questions related to four areas: abuse experience and risk assessment, use and nonuse of self-protective strategies, necessary support services, and impact of disability in relation to these phenomena.

Setting: A nonresidential domestic violence agency serving people with disabilities located in New York City.

Participants: Twenty-five women with physical disabilities receiving services from a domestic violence agency that specializes in assisting people with disabilities.

Results: The findings reported here focus on educational, vocational, financial, and physical barriers to occupational engagement faced by IPV survivors with disabilities.

Conclusion and Relevance: The occupational deprivation experienced by IPV survivors with disabilities can entrap women in abusive relationships, preventing them from independently supporting themselves and their children. Occupational therapy practitioners can provide education and interventions that increase their ability to live independently.

What This Article Adds: This article provides a novel consideration of how occupational therapy practitioners can help survivors with disabilities escape IPV through occupational engagement.