Disabled people

Family violence can be physical – punching, slapping, pushing or pulling your hair. It can also be psychological (including emotional), sexual, financial or spiritual. It’s lack of care and respect by people close to you or those responsible for your care.

People with a disability can be affected by family violence. It can be:

  • threats to hurt their children or take the children away
  • mind games and put-downs
  • withholding food or medication or over-medicating
  • controlling their money, making financial decisions for them, or misusing their money
  • making them do sexual things that make them feel uncomfortable
  • never letting them be alone with a health practitioner or other helping professional
  • forcing them to have an abortion or be sterilised
  • humiliating them in front of other people
  • checking up on their whereabouts all the time
  • controlling their behaviour and relationships with others

Abuse can be intentional or it can be caused by neglect such as forgetting to pick up medication, not providing adequate care, leaving them alone for long periods of time or not providing meals.

Many people with disabilities experience discrimination. This can make it even harder to seek or receive help. It makes it even more important that the person is listened to and believed.

If you suspect abuse or neglect speak up. Talk to the person about your concerns. Encourage and support them to take action.

Download in pdf or word docx the Domestic Violence, Abuse and Neglect of Disabled People booklet (2016)

Image shows group of 10 people with six standing and four sitting.

(Image shows a photo of seven people standing and four people sitting. Three of them are using wheelchairs and one person holds a white cane. The photo is above the words Domestic violence, abuse and neglect of disabled people)

The easy read Domestic Violence and Disabled People booklet is available in accessible formats from our resources section.

There are people who can help or offer advice:

Statistic tile for printing: STAT TILE DISABLED WOMEN [PDF 116 KB]

Here's the link to information about a tool to support organisations that address domestic and sexual violence to track their progress in serving survivors.

Some of our key messages have been translated into NZ Sign Language. Check them out here: