Newswise — Each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes. Women with a disability are more likely to experience intimate partner violence (IPV) than those without a disability, says a new study presented at the American Public Health Association's 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego.

The study, which used data collected from seven states and one territory as part of the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, examined disability prevalence and differences in IPV among women with and without a disability.

Researchers found that women with a disability were significantly more likely to report experiencing some form of IPV in their lifetime (37.3 percent vs. 20.6 percent), when compared with women without a disability. Women with a disability were more likely to report ever being threatened with violence (28.5 percent vs. 15.4 percent) and hit, slapped, pushed, kicked or physically hurt (30.6 percent vs. 15.7 percent) by an intimate partner. Similarly, women with a disability were more likely to report ever experiencing unwanted sex by an intimate partner (19.7 percent vs. 8.2 percent) than those without a disability.

"This epidemiologic evidence identifies an opportunity for federal, state and local stakeholders to form new partnerships to better align disability and violence prevention programs and policies," said Brian Armour, PhD, lead researcher on the study. "Furthermore, it identifies the need for comprehensive violence prevention programs that will enhance public awareness to reduce violence against women with a disability."

Session 3025.0 " Differences in intimate partner violence among women with and without a disability

Date: Monday, October 27, 2008 " 9:00 AM

Researchers: Brian S. Armour, PhD, Matthew Brieding, PhD, and Lesley A. Wolf, MPH.

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American Public Health Association 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition