The Unseen report

Blind and partially sighted people’s experiences of domestic abuse

This resource provides SafeLives’ ‘The Unseen’ report which explores blind and partially sighted people’s experiences of domestic abuse. This page also provides a plain text version of the report and an in-depth research report.

Because you are blind, it doesn’t mean you cannot speak up for yourself. You still have the right to, and just need to channel it to the right ears, that proper actions will be taken.

In 2022, Vision Foundation commissioned SafeLives to research the experiences of domestic abuse for blind and partially sighted people.

When Vision Foundation commissioned this research, we were concerned that despite evidence showing that disabled people are nearly three times as likely to have experienced domestic abuse, there were no data, discussions or dedicated services addressing this issue in the sight loss community.

The research project included a literature review of relevant papers from the last 20 years; interviews and focus groups with 78 participants (most of whom were victims or survivors of abuse, and/or visually impaired); and a survey of 72 practitioners working in sight loss, domestic abuse, or other professions associated with this issue (e.g. health services, police).

The report includes key findings on prevalence, experiences of abuse and barriers to accessing help, as well as recommendations for services, training and best practice.

    Facts and figures

  • 14%

    of all disabled people experienced domestic abuse between April 2019 and March 2020

    compared to 5.1% of non-disabled people

  • 1 in 12

    visually impaired people in the UK are estimated to be victims or survivors of domestic abuse

  • 3 in 4

    domestic abuse professionals don’t know if their social media services are accessible

Play video

Survivor testimony from the Vision Foundation and Safelives’ research into the experiences of blind and partially sighted people’s experiences of domestic abuse.

Further research and reading

Disabled Survivors Too

This report puts a spotlight on the experiences of disabled victims of domestic abuse and the improvements to support that they desperately need.