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Understanding Abuse of Women With Physical Disabilities: An Overview of the Abuse Pathways Model

Hassouneh-Phillips, Dena PhD

Original Article

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of an empirically based theoretical model of abuse of women with physical disabilities. The Abuse Pathways model was developed from a critical disability life history research study conducted with 37 women who had simultaneously experienced abuse and physical disability. The model begins to address the complexity of abuse of women with physical disabilities by identifying the interactive components of the phenomenon. These components include (1) the social context of disability; (2) women's abuse trajectories; and (3) vulnerability factors for abuse. The article concludes by discussing potential applications and limitations of the model.

School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.

Corresponding author: Dena Hassouneh-Phillips, PhD, School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, 3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd, Portland, OR 97239 (e-mail:

This study was funded by the American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses and the National Institute for Nursing Research.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.