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Alameda County Family Justice Center

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until crime victims are.

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Some reasons why it may be hard for a deaf survivor to leave

Some of the obstacles deaf survivors may face when considering leaving an abusive relationship include the following:

Increased isolation. A batterer may take her TTY away and not allow sign language in the house; call her names like "retarded" or make fun that she is deaf. The batterer can also control her SSI checks and threaten her. All this can make the survivor more isolated and feel alone.

Fear of gossip. The community is very small and if the batterer is someone who has a disability, she may fear that others may know about her situation and feel embarrassed. They may utilize the same resources and confidentiality may be compromised. This makes it difficult to strategize to leave if unsure of whom to trust.

Fear of exposing violence in the community. As in many other communities, exposing the violence in the community can compound the isolation she may be feeling and therefore many survivors prefer to keep problems internal.

Lack of outreach and education. Not only are many deaf people not educated about domestic violence and available resources, domestic violence agencies do not tend to reach out to them as effectively unless the organizations tat specifically address survivors who are deaf or who have disabilities. Many survivors do not feel supported in their community and often feel the community supports the batterer.

Organizations and domestic violence resources are inaccessible. Many deaf survivors do not feel safe going to a domestic violence shelter because of insensitivity to their needs. This increases a deaf person's isolation and may result in staying with her batterer.

National Resources for Deaf Survivors
Relationship Check List & Power Wheel
For Further Information