The Tizard Centre

Domestic violence and women with learning disabilities

The research project Domestic violence and women with learning disabilities looked at women with learning disabilities who had experienced domestic violence from a boyfriend, husband or ex-partner. It also explored the attitudes and practices of the Police and other professionals who are called to support women.

Funding was awarded by SSCR (School for Social Care Research) for Dr Michelle McCarthy to carry out the project for two years (2012- 2014).  The research workers on the project were Siobhan Hunt and Karen Milne-Skillman. Professor Glynis Murphy gave advice, particularly on statistical analysis of the survey. Ethical approval was granted by SCREC (Social Care Research Ethics Committee) Ref. No. 12/IEC08/0028


Accessible Resources

We made a DVD with, and for, women with learning disabilities . To watch it online:   or on the Tizard web page.   

Hard copies of this video are available, free of charge, for women with learning disabilities. Please contact Michelle McCarthy to request a copy . If you do request a copy,  please note that it should ideally be held as a central resource and shown to women with learning disabilities, but not necessarily be given to them to keep. For women who are in, at risk of being in or who have recently left a  violent relationship, having a DVD which clearly indicates it is about domestic violence could put them at risk. A perpetrator could be alerted to the fact that the woman is seeking help and violence could ensue/escalate.

An accessible leaflet with, and for, women with learning disabilities (pdf) is also available.



Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7LR

Telephone: +44(0)1227 827373 or contact us

Last Updated: 25/06/2015