Background: Recent indicators show that domestic violence is prevalent in the United States and in the world. Individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing are at a higher risk for physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to a) investigate the prevalence of intimate partner violence in past and present relationships, b) identify predictors of abusive relationships, and c) categorize support systems for those needing help.

Method: A sample of 167 deaf and hard of hearing individuals completed an anonymous online survey about their current and past relationships.

Results: Results indicated that 7% of the sample reported domestic violence in their current relationships; 44% reported domestic violence in past relationships. A multiple regression identified tension in the relationship and the absence of disabilities in their partner as significant predictors of current abuse. A significant predictor of past abuse was tension in the relationship. Ease of communication, whether through a signing therapist or a qualified interpreter, was essential in seeking services.

Discussion; Given the prevalence of IPV in the deaf community, practitioners may want to explore outreach and intervention strategies. They may want to focus on understanding the interplay of dynamics that influence violence in relationships was well as the role of support systems for individuals seeking help.