Women's College Research Institute

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Women with mental health-related disability at greater risk of abuse

From Impact, May 2014

Dr. Janice Du MontA new study led by Dr. Janice Du Mont, a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, is the first Canadian population-based study to examine the prevalence of intimate partner violence among women with activity limitations, or disability, with a specific focus on disability due to mental health-related problems.

Du Mont and co-author Tonia Forte found that women with a severe mental health-related disability are nearly four times more likely to have been a victim of intimate partner violence than those without a disability. Their findings were published in BioMed Central Public Health and covered by The Globe and Mail.

 “Our study suggests that women whose daily activities are limited by a psychological, emotional or mental health condition may be especially vulnerable to being victimized,” said Du Mont. “What’s more, we found that the more severe the mental health related disability, the higher the likelihood of having experienced intimate partner violence.”

Du Mont’s findings suggest that prevention and intervention activities may need to better target women with mental health disabilities, to help alleviate the occurrence of and suffering associated with partner abuse. 

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