Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of relationship violence including sexual harassment, sexual assault, psychological abuse and physical abuse in their lifetime.
How might they experience interpersonal violence?
- Intimidation through gestures, facial expressions, or exaggerated signs, floor stomping and pounding on the table or door
- Signing very close to a victim’s face when angry
- Not informing the victim when people try to call on the phone or try to catch their attention
- Excluding the victim from important conversations
- Leaving the victim out in social situations with hearing people
- Talking negatively about the Deaf community
- Wrongly interpreting to manipulate the situation if the police are called
- Not allowing children to use ASL to talk with the victim
- Criticizing the victim’s speech and English skills
- Increased vulnerability to sexual assault, can’t shout out or call for help.