Professional perspectives on providing services to women with disabilities exposed to intimate partner violence.
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences, perception, and attitudes of the service providers on way that existing intimate partner violence services are organised for people with disabilities.
Methods: In-depth interview were conducted with 19 professionals working in health care, social work, police, and women shelters to provide IPV-related services. A constructivist grounded theory approach that is based on the principles of symbolic interactionism was used with the purpose of explaining how IPV services are organised for people with disabilities in Sweden.
Results: Establishing a “cobweb system of IPV service provision was identified by the service providers as a preferred approach for providing service to women with disabilities. This approach involved multisectoral collaboration, steered by a coordinator described as a “spider in the net”. The providers further described intimate partner violence services for women with disabilities to be organised in four overarching actions described as pathways; screening and identification; protection and care; and empowerment and independence.
Conclusion: Providing adequate IPV services to people with disabilities require active collaboration steered by a coordinator because women with disabilities face several disability related barriers that made it difficult for them to access the service systems on their own.