Domestic Abuse and Disabled People

Sheffield DACT  has been set up to support disabled who are experiencing abuse and make it easier to get help. Disabled people can be abused by partners, family members and paid carers. Domestic abuse is explained in detail in the Understanding Domestic Abuse section of this site.  If you are disabled and experiencing abuse, it is common for abusers to use your impairments to control and hurt you through:

  • Physical Abuse – deliberately ignoring your care needs, pushing you onto the floor when you are unable to get back up, hitting you when you are unable to get away or defend yourself
  • Emotional Abuse – saying you couldn’t cope without them, saying that no one else would want you because of impairments, humiliating you because you need help to use the toilet or other basic care and failing to provide it, removing aides which help you to be independent
  • Sexual Abuse – disabled women in particular are twice as likely to be raped or assaulted
  • Financial Abuse – controlling your finances, taking your money without you knowing or agreeing, spending your disability benefits on themselves

The Helpline can listen to you and support you to make your own choices. They can help you make sense of the situation and will find you services that will meet your needs. You can call them on 0808 808 2241 or email them for help (if it is safe) and they will respond.

As a disabled person it can be even more difficult to get help, because:

  • Your abuser may restrict your access to support or accompany you everywhere so you can’t talk to anyone about it
  • You may worry about leaving an adapted home or disrupting specific care packages that you need for daily living
  • You might worry about losing your children
  • You may feel that you can’t manage without your partner or carer
  • They might act caring and supportive in front of professionals, friends and family so that they don’t want to believe you if you tell them about the abuse

Support Organisations

Sheffield Adult Safeguarding : 0114 273 6870

National charity supporting people with learning disabilities, their families and their supporters who have been affected by trauma and abuse