Violence against women with disabilities





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Uploaded on Feb 27, 2012

Women with disabilities experience violence at a higher rate, for longer periods, and are less likely to report the abuse, than women without disabilities (Healey, 2008). Tricia Malowney, Chair of Women with Disabilities Victoria, and Ariane Garner-Williams, youth and women with disabilities advocate, talk about some of the issues that arise for this doubly disadvantaged group, in terms of violence.

In the 2003 Report "Double Triple Disadvantage: Out of Sight, Out of Mind", author Chris Jennings explains that 'Women with disabilities face a double disadvantage: as women they are discriminated against on the basis of gender, and as people they are discriminated against on the basis of their disability' (p.11).

Women with disabilities experience the same types of violence as other women in the community - that is physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. Women with disabilities also experience forms of violence particular to their situation. Women with disabilities are often not respected or valued for who they are; in general they are poorer than other women; they experience more isolation and can be more dependent on partners, family members or carers. Because of this, women with disabilities can be vulnerable to forms of abuse that do not fit traditional definitions of violence. Withholding equipment, food and medication; limiting access to communication devices; and threats of institutionalisation are some forms of disability related abuse that may go unreported (Nosek, Foley et al 2001).

Women with Disabilities Victoria have produced a key resource on violence against women with disabilities, entitled 'Building the Evidence: A report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria' (2008). The Building the Evidence project analysed the extent to which Victorian family violence policy and practice recognised and provided for women with disabilities who experience violence; and made recommendations to improve responses to women with disabilities dealing with family violence. The research was undertaken because the full extent of violence against women with disabilities was unknown, because statistics about women with disabilities who experience violence are not collected well.

To access the Building the Evidence Report, go to:

For more information on violence against women with disabilities, go to our website at http://www.wdv.org.au

If you are experiencing violence, you can contact:

Police - Dial 000

Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service of Victoria
1800 015 188 (24 hour)

Men's Referral Service
1800 065 973 (Victoria)
Free, Anonymous, Confidential

The producer of this video is happy for it to be used to raise awareness of the issues entailed. So feel free to share it, screen it and otherwise use it in your work. For more information on this video, contact Sarah Boyd at sarah.boyd2@gmail.com


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