Women with a disability are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as those without a disability.  Disability can include physical and learning disabilities as well as mental health issues, sensory impairment, age and illness.

People with disabilities who are being abused may experience the following.

Personal care may be withheld if the abuser is also a carer - for example refusing to provide assistance to use the toilet as a way of controlling the victim.

Financial abuse – the abuser may use their status as carer to spend their partner’s money inappropriately and/or without their consent.

Emotional abuse – the abuser may tell their partner that no one else will love them or that if they leave they will have to go into a care home. The abuser may use children as a hold over the victim – telling them that their children will be taken away if they report the abuse because they will not be able to look after them on their own.

Sexual abuse – the abuser may sexually assault or rape their partner who may not physically be able to stop them or understand what is happening to them.

The Care Act 2014 came into effect on 1 April 2015.  The Act sets out Adult Safeguarding requirements for an Adult at Risk.

You can find our more about Adult Safeguarding in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on the Safeguarding Adults Board website

Deaf survivors of domestic abuse
Locally, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association run The Freedom Programme in BSL.  For more information please visit Freedom Programme (Domestic Abuse Course for Deaf Women) – CDA (cambsdeaf.org)
National organisation Deaf Hope have a range of resources as well as a national hotline (available 9-5 Monday -Friday) DeafHope – Together We Can End Violence (deaf-hope.org)  
Contact the Deaf hotline nationaldeafhotline@adwas.org VP: 855.812.1001

Getting Help

Outreach support is available to women with disabilities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

  • If you live in Cambridge City, South Cambs or East Cambs call 01223 361214
  • If you live in Fenland, Huntingdonshire or Peterborough call 07787 255821


If you are concerned that any vulnerable adult is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect please contact:

Cambridgeshire: Tel: 0345 045 5202 or visit the website here

Peterborough: 01733 747474 or visit the website here


An official Easy Read booklet is available to download below which is suitable for people with learning disabilities and also an Accessible version which may be useful for people with learning, communication or literacy challenges.



Carers can also be victims of domestic abuse – this could be a long-standing situation or as a result of behaviour changes in their partner due to illness or disability.

Carers may also be a vulnerable adult or adult at risk of abuse or neglect in their own right. This is a complex area but professional support is available.



Don't Put Up With It.  Domestic Violence And Women With Learning Disabilities.