Recent community-based research indicates that the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the Deaf community exceeds known rates among hearing individuals, yet little is known about services available to Deaf IPV victims. Given the inaccessibility of IPV services, providers (doctors, psychologists, and lawyers) who know American Sign Language become IPV providers while addressing myriad comorbid issues that affect Deaf clients. This article presents data drawn from transcripts of semistructured interviews with 12 interdisciplinary providers who serve the Deaf population. We sought to understand the etiology of abuse involving Deaf victims and what, if any, services are available. We explore similarities and differences between service provision for hearing and Deaf IPV victims. Findings suggest providers working with Deaf IPV victims typically (a) work with victims and perpetrators alike, (b) provide services to couples and families, (c) serve larger geographical areas, and (d) address stigmatization. Perhaps the most important finding is that standard terminology in IPV measures, without linguistic and cultural modifications, may be invalid for use with Deaf individuals. Policy implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology