The signs and symptoms of domestic violence for people with disabilities are similar to those of other forms of domestic violence. They may include physical violence, sexual assault, and emotional and/or psychological abuse.
Victims with disabilities face unique barriers:
- The abuser may be the victim's intimate partner, parent, or child as well as the primary caregiver.
- The abuser may be the sole sign language interpreter.
- Service availability and accessibility may be limited.
- Providers and others may not understand the victim or the victim may not have language skills to describe the abuse.
To exert power and control, the abuser may:
- Isolate the victim from family, friends, and other community members.
- Refuse or fail to provide basic life necessities such as food and water, medication, personal hygiene care, shelter, and comfort.
- Threaten the victim with total abandonment.
- Refuse to transport the victim to essential medical appointments.
- Withhold financial support or deposit the victim’s funds into their own personal account.
- Withhold the use of their TTY device.
As a victim with a disability, where can I find help in New York City?
In New York City, it is against the law to intentionally cause physical injury to someone or put someone in fear of physical injury. Victims of domestic violence who are in danger should call 911 or have a friend or neighbor call 911 immediately. Victims may also go to the nearest police station for help.
New York City's 24-hour, toll-free, all-language Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims of domestic violence with disabilities to find appropriate support and shelter services. The domestic violence hotline maintains a comprehensive list of service agencies in New York City to meet the specific needs of all victims. Please call the hotline at 800-621-HOPE (4673) or TTY 800-810-7444 for more information.
Barrier Free Living is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities live independently in their communities. Advocates are available to help victims obtain Orders of Protection, seek medical treatment, find shelter, and, where appropriate, establish independent living. Counseling and support groups are also available. Barrier Free Living provides services in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
|The Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Program operates a domestic violence hotline from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Hotline workers provide supportive counseling and offer referrals to services specifically designed to meet the needs of disabled victims. For help, please call 212-533-4358 or TTY 212-533-4632. |
Victims of domestic violence with disabilities may benefit from Barrier Free Justice, a Brooklyn-based court advocacy program that helps disabled and deaf victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault navigate the criminal justice system in Kings County.
Barrier Free Justice is a collaboration between the Kings County District Attorney's Office, South Brooklyn Legal Services, and Barrier Free Living. This program provides crisis intervention, safety planning, counseling, deafness counseling, case management, legal advocacy, help with housing and shelter, skills training, and crime victim reimbursement. For help, please call 718-250-3823 or TTY 718-250-2338.
Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
The Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York
Independent Living Centers
New York State Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities
The City of New York Resource Directory of Domestic Violence Services