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Experiences and prevention of violence against persons with disabilities

Research project commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMASK). This research project is currently implemented by the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (Lead), queraum and BIM. For the first time in Austria this empirical study strives to gather representative data on the diverse experiences of abuse and violence of persons with disabilities. The study focuses on women and men with disabiliteis who live in residental institutions or other specialised services and covers their different experiences of violence in all stages of life.

The findings shall contribute to the prevention of violence and support those affected from violence. Furthermore good practice examples will be presented to support institutions to deal with violence. The research perspective is based on a wide definition of violence, which includes direct and personal violence as well as structural violence in order to pay attention to the diversity and complexity of violence and power relations and their roots.

To find adequate answers to the complex research questions a triangular research approach was defined.  With this Between–Method–Triangulation various quantitative and qualitative methods are combined to generate mutual information. This approach include standardised interviews with persons with disabilities all over Austria (n=350 – 400) in institutions, additinal qualitative interviews with persons with disabilites, more over qualitative interviews with employees from those institutions and finally qualitative expert interviews as well as a good practice analysis.

During the entire research process and for the presentation of the results all interviewed persons are anonymized. 


Persons involved: 

Sabine Mandl, Ludwig Boltzmann Institue of Human Rights (BIM)

Hemma Mayrhofer (Project lead), Walter Fuchs, Veronika Hofinger, Barbara Bühler, Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (IRKS)

Anna Schachner (queraum)

Yvonne Seidler (HAZISSA)



Contact persons: 

BIM: Sabine Mandl,

IRKS: Hemma Mayrhofer,

Lead Organisation: 
Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (IRKS)
Partner organisations: 
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM), queraum. cultural and social research, HAZISSA – centre for prevention
Project start: 
Project end: 
Project completed: 
Funded by: 
Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMASK)
Women's Rights, Child Rights, Human Trafficking