The Community-Based Needs Assessment that was published by theResearch and Resource Center with Deaf communities (RRCD) at Western Oregon University. Findings included that: a) over half (56.3%, n=419) of respondents have experienced taunts about their hearing loss or how they communicate during their lives, b) 38.9% (n=286) of respondents have experienced verbal/non-verbal threats, c) 29.9% (n=219) of respondents have experienced the subject of sexual comments or features, d) 29.2%(n=214) of respondents have experienced physically impeding/blocking behavior, e) 28% (n=207) of respondents have experienced being hit, slapped, or pushed, f) 22% (n=162) of respondents have experienced belittling/taunts about religion or race and finally, g) 14% (n=103) of respondents have experienced being threatened with a weapon. (Community-Based Needs Assessment (CNA) of Oregon’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities: Final Report as of December 30, 2016.)
Debra Guthmann, a former president of the National Association on Alcohol, Drugs, and Disability, estimates that 1 in 7 Deaf people in the United States suffers from substance dependency compared to 1 in 10 hearing people (Hearing Health, 2013).
Much of the research detailing sexual assault in the Deaf population has focused on intimate partner violence (IPV) and has found that Deaf women are 2 to 4 times more likely than hearing women to experience forced sex in their lifetime (Pollard, Sutter, & Cerullli, 2013).