College Women With Disabilities Are at a Higher Risk of Sexual Violence and Abuse

A new study led by Amy Bonomi, professor of human development and family studies at Michigan State University, finds that college women with disabilities, including those with physical, mental, or emotional conditions, are at particularly high risk of becoming victims of sexual violence or abuse. College women with a disability were also more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence.

The authors state that “our results underscore the need for continued investment in campus programs that improve response to sexual violence and intimate partner violence, including prevention programs and support services tailored to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of women with underlying mental health conditions.”

Professor Bonomi joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 2013. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, where she majored in applied psychology. She earned a master of public health degree and a Ph.D. in health services at the University of Washington.

The full study, “Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in College Women with a Mental Health and/or Behavior Disability,” was published on the website of the Journal of Women’s Health. It can be downloaded by clicking here.

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