198695 Incidence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Affecting Deaf Individuals

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:10 PM

Robert Q. Pollard, PhD , Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY
Deirdre A. Schlehofer, MPhil, EdD , Rochester Prevention Research Center: National Center for Deaf Health Research, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Erika J. Sutter, MPH , Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious national problem with estimated fiscal consequences exceeding $5.8 billion. Victims of IPV have high rates of emergency department utilization, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and are at high risk for suicide. The American Deaf community is a linguistic and cultural minority group whose IPV risks, incidence rates, and health consequences have not been studied. Two samples of deaf adults (N=302, N=215), a local sample from a mid-sized city and a geographically diverse sample attending a large national Deaf community event, responded to a computer-administered survey that presented questions and answer choices in American Sign Language, written English, and Signed English. Modeled after the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the survey contained three IPV questions and other relevant questions about emergency department utilization and suicide. The lifetime incidence rates of physical abuse in both deaf adult samples (19% and 22%, respectively) were higher than that reported by a local sample of hearing individuals from the same mid-sized city who responded to the BRFSS (14%). Lifetime incidence of sexual abuse in both deaf samples was much higher than the hearing comparison sample (22% and 14% vs. 6%). Emotional abuse was even more commonly reported (27%, 26%). Reports of physical and sexual abuse within the past year were five to twenty-fold greater in both deaf samples compared to the hearing sample. Numerous statistically significant associations were found in both deaf samples between lifetime experiences of IPV and emergency department utilization and suicidal ideation, plans, or attempts.

Learning Objectives:
1) Understand the challenges of conducting IPV research with Deaf ASL-users 2) Compare the prevalence of IPV in one urban and one national sample of Deaf respondents 3) Learn about the associations between IPV, emergency department utilization, and suicidality in these two Deaf samples 4)Discuss future avenues in IPV research and issues regarding IPV services for the Deaf community

Keywords: Deaf, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the research coordinator at the National Center for Deaf Health Research. I am responsible for conducting the Deaf Health Survey and collecting data which resulted in this presentation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.