Publications and Resources


This page contains a number of important articles, papers and resources about important research and programs relevant to Women with Disabilities Victoria.

In January 2017 Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) undertook the Prevention of violence against women and children regional action plan capacity building project: Women with disabilities project over approximately six months. Consultants LDC were contracted to undertake this work on behalf of WDV.

The specific focus of the project was on the disability related aspects of the Regional Action Planning Project in order to build the capacity of Prevention of Violence Against Women (PVAW) sector professionals to deliver high quality prevention of violence against women activities that are inclusive of women with disabilities.

Against Violence is an initiative of Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), in partnership with the Office for the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Domestic Violence Resources Centre Victoria (DVRCV).The project reports on the extent and nature of violence against women with disabilities in Victoria. As well as interviews with women with disabilities about their experiences of violence, it includes an overview of current issues, a review of legislative protections, a review of the records of OPA and interviews with its staff and volunteers. The project includes seven (7) individual reports.

A Project about Information and Communication Technology and Women with Disabilities

Women with Disabilities Victoria in collaboration with the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) undertook a project which looked at the use of technologies to increase social support and information opportunities for women with disabilities.

The research was undertaken as a collaboration between the Women with Disabilities Victoria, the Alfred Felton Research Program at the University of Melbourne, and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.

A comprehensive report about Women with Disabilities Victoria’s history, humble beginnings and major success in policy, advocacy and empowerment of Victorian women with disabilities, from it’s inception in 1995 to 2010.

Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) repeatedly hear about our members’ experiences of inadequate and non-responsive health services: not feeling respected; not being involved in the decisions that affect their health care and treatment; not being able to get onto the examination table; or the recurrent focus on their disability, rather than their health concerns.

The Building the Evidence Project analyses the extent to which current Victorian family violence policy and practice recognises and provides for women with disabilities who experience violence; and makes recommendations to improve responses to women with disabilities dealing with family violence.

To address violence against women with disabilities, we produced a framework called: A framework for influencing change – responding to violence against women with disabilities 2007-2009

Women with Disabilities Victoria provided input into to VicHealth’s framework to guide primary prevention of intimate partner violence.

A number of key resources from The Royal Commission on Family Violence, Domestic Violence Resource Centre, Women with Disabilities Australia and legal organisations.


 


.

Prevention of violence against women and children regional action plan capacity building project: Women with disabilities

In January 2017 Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) undertook the Prevention of violence against women and children regional action plan capacity building project: Women with disabilities project over approximately six months. Consultants LDC were contracted to undertake this work on behalf of WDV.

The specific focus of the project was on the disability related aspects of the Regional Action Planning Project in order to build the capacity of Prevention of Violence Against Women (PVAW) sector professionals to deliver high quality prevention of violence against women activities that are inclusive of women with disabilities.

The aims of the project included a needs analysis of the PVAW sector and the identification and development of standards of practice for the inclusion of women with disabilities and disability organisations in RAPs in order to achieve improved capacity of the sector.

Key outcomes of the project were:

  • A needs analysis of what will make regional action plans inclusive of women with disabilities and disability organisations; and the tools, resources and strategies needed to embed women with disabilities and disability organisations in PVAW activities.
  • A literature review to contribute to the body of knowledge on the best practice approaches for including women with disabilities and disability organisations into regional action plans for PVAW activities.
  • Guidelines for Inclusive regional planning developed to enable Women’s Health Services and their regional partners to inclusive, practical, evidence based action to prevent violence against women with disabilities.

PVAW Literature Review (Word) (PDF)

WDV-LDC PVAW Guidelines for public use (Word) (PDF)


.

Landmark Research: ‘Voices Against Violence’

Voices Against Violence is an initiative of Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), in partnership with the Office for the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Domestic Violence Resources Centre Victoria (DVRCV).

The project reports on the extent and nature of violence against women with disabilities in Victoria. As well as interviews with women with disabilities about their experiences of violence, it includes an overview of current issues, a review of legislative protections, a review of the records of OPA and interviews with its staff and volunteers. The project includes seven individual reports.

The project was funded by Gandel Philanthropy and a research grant from the Legal Services Board Grants Program. We are grateful to these organisations for their generous support of the project.

Media Enquiries: simone.flanagan@wdv.org.au or Ph: 03 92867804

Order print copies of the seven Voices Against Violence reports ($20 each or $100 for the set).
Download: Voices Against Violence – publication order form
Phone: 03 9286 7800
Email: wdv@wdv.org.au

You can download an electonic version of the reports below:

Voices Against Violence Paper One Executive Summary

This paper collates the information from the Voices Against Violence Research Project publications and sets out the recommendations arising from the research project.

Voices Against Violence Paper Two Current Issues in Understanding and Responding to Violence Against Women with Disabilitites (PDF 1.1MB)

This paper provides a conceptual starting point for the issues raised throughout the series of papers that make up the Voices Against Violence Research Project. Positioned within a human rights feminist approach, it reviews current knowledge about the nature and extent of violence against women with disabilities; the barriers to services faced by women with disabilities who have experienced violence; and outlines promising initiatives currently underway in Victoria that may help repair the harm and prevent the injustice of violence. In doing so, it examines the challenges in defining what we mean by violence against women with disabilities as opposed to violence against people with disabilities, men with disabilities, or women in general, and why this matters. It highlights the importance of examining disability-based violence and its interrelationship with gender-based violence

Voices Against Violence Paper Three A Review of the Legislative Protections Available to Women with Disabilities who have Experienced Violence in Victoria (PDF 1.4MB)

This paper reviews Victorian and Federal legislation and related literature. It also looks at the practical perspectives provided by stakeholders regarding the adequacy of legal protections and barriers to justice for women with disabilities in Victoria who have experienced violence, and presents a clear pathway for future practice, legislative amendment and research. Legislation reviewed includes the:
• Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)
• Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)
• Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic)
• Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)
• Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

Voices Against Violence Paper Four A Review of the Public Advocate’s Records on Violence Against Women with Disabilities (PDF 1.1MB)

This paper is based on a review of OPA’s Advocate/Guardian program files. OPA’s Advocate/Guardian program provides guardianship, investigation and individual advocacy services to Victorians with cognitive impairments and/or mental illness. The aim of the file review was to ascertain how many women who are clients of OPA’s Advocate/Guardian program have reportedly experienced violence. In order to find this out, the project reviewed the first 100 Advocate/Guardian case files involving women that were allocated to OPA in the 2011–12 financial year.

Voices Against Violence Paper Five Interviews with Staff and Volunteers from the Office of the Public Advocate (PDF 1.8MB)

This paper involved interviews with 25 staff and volunteers from OPA’s major program areas. The interviews explored participants’ experiences in working with women with cognitive impairments and/or mental illnesses who had experienced violence, or who were at risk of experiencing violence. The participants were asked to reflect on the circumstances of the women they had worked with at OPA. They were also asked to talk about the particular challenges for women with disabilities who have experienced violence, and what can be done to address violence and prevent it from reoccurring.

Voices Against Violence Paper Six Hearing from Women with Disabilities (PDF 1.2MB)

This paper involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 20 Victorian women with disabilities who have been subject to violence. The interviews explored women’s experiences of violence, how their disabilities impacted the violence they experienced, whom they went to for support, and their experiences with violence response services (such as police, family violence and sexual assault services). Women also talked about the changes they felt were required to better support women with disabilities who have experienced violence and their suggestions for preventing violence against women with disabilities.

Voices Against Violence Paper Seven Easy English Summary (PDF 3MB)

This paper summarises the major findings and recommendations of the Voices Against Violence Research Project in Easy English. The paper uses everyday words, simple sentence structure, and pictorials in order to convey the important findings of the research.

These papers have been written by different authors over a period of time, reflecting different language and definitions. In this period, the complexity of dealing with violence in different contexts – which employ different understandings of disability and different understandings of violence – has become evident. Grappling with this complexity has been a valuable learning and the thinking of the project team has evolved through the life of the project. We have endeavoured to standardise the language across papers as far as possible.


.

Your Say, your Rights (Oct 2012)

A Project about Information and Communication Technology and Women with Disabilities

Women with Disabilities Victoria in collaboration with the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) undertook a project which looked at the use of technologies to increase social support and information opportunities for women with disabilities.

The Your Say Your Rights project had a focus on reaching women with disabilities who are particularly isolated.

The project conducted a series of roundtables for women with specific disabilities who, to varying degrees, experience isolation, lack access to information, and lack input into decision making in the community.

‘Your Say, Your Rights’: Women with disabilities and Information Communication Technology (ICT) PDF (1MB) Word (2.2MB) Easy English (PDF | 934KB)


.

Claiming Our Future (2010)

A comprehensive report about Women with Disabilities Victoria’s history, humble beginnings and major success in policy, advocacy and empowerment of Victorian women with disabilities, from it’s inception in 1995 to 2010.

Women with Disabilities Victoria: Claiming Our Future (PDF 3.9MB) | Text Only (Word 296KB)


.

Access to Health Services for Women with Disabilities (2010)

Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) repeatedly hear about our members’ experiences of inadequate and non-responsive health services: not feeling respected; not being involved in the decisions that affect their health care and treatment; not being able to get onto the examination table; or the recurrent focus on their disability, rather than their health concerns.

This review was commissioned to identify what current research and literature can tell us about ways to improve access to health services for women with disabilities. The absence of evidence on the health experiences of women with disabilities in Australia is stark. In itself, this lack of research is an indicator of the depth of discrimination and the invisibility of women with disabilities within health research, policy and priorities. Key barriers and areas for action are identified and summarised below. Women with disabilities make up 20% of women. Whether we are from Cobram, or a community residential unit in Coburg; whether we are an Aboriginal woman, or were born in Afghanistan; whether we are lesbian, or heterosexual, we are women first.

Our health and wellbeing is critically important to us, and to the health of the whole community.

You can download or view the full paper below:

Access to health services – the issues for women with disabilities


.

Landmark Research: ‘Building the Evidence’ Report (2008)

The Building the Evidence Project analyses the extent to which current Victorian family violence policy and practice recognises and provides for women with disabilities who experience violence; and makes recommendations to improve responses to women with disabilities dealing with family violence.

The research project was undertaken because we do not know the full extent of violence against women with disabilities because statistics about women with disabilities who experience violence are not collected well. Studies here and overseas suggest it is twice the rate of violence against non-disabled women. Meanwhile, the majority of women with disabilities do not have access to the resources they need to protect themselves from violence. Family violence and family services are not equipped to meet the needs of women with diverse disabilities; and disability services have not been adequately equipped to identify or respond to experiences of family violence.

The research was undertaken as a collaboration between the Women with Disabilities Victoria, the Alfred Felton Research Program at the University of Melbourne, and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.

Accessing the Building the Evidence Report

The Building the Evidence Report can be downloaded in various formats, below. You can purchase a hard copy version by downloading the order form and sending it back to us.

Full report, PDF: 
Building the Evidence: a report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria (PDF 1.81MB)

Full report, Microsoft Word: 
Building the Evidence: a report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria (Word 13.8MB)

Full report, Microsoft Word, no pictures:
Building the Evidence: a report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria (Word 3.65MB)

Executive Summary, Microsoft Word, 16 font:
Building the Evidence – Executive Summary, 16 font (Word 66KB)

Executive Summary, HTML, 16 font:
Building the Evidence – Executive Summary, 16 font (HTML 43KB)

Individual chapters, PDF:

Executive Summary (PDF 73.2KB)

Research at a glance (PDF 691KB)

Recommendations (PDF 80KB)

1 Introduction (PDF 1.12MB)

2 Situating violence against women with disabilities (PDF 202KB)

3 Women’s experiences of family violence response system (PDF 138KB)

4 Workers’ experiences of supporting women with disabilities in the family response system (PDF 79.3KB)

5 Data collection and research (PDF 204KB)

6 Family violence standards and guidelines (PDF 248KB)

7 Workforce development (PDF 206KB)

8 Positive developments in service response to women with disabilities experiencing violence (PDF 151KB)

9 Conclusion (PDF 35.8KB)

References (PDF 101KB)

Appendices (PDF 134KB)


.

A Framework for Influencing Change – Responding to Violence against Women with Disabilities

To address violence against women with disabilities, we produced a framework called: A framework for influencing change – responding to violence against women with disabilities 2007-2009.

The framework can be downloaded in various formats:

Full report, PDF:
A framework for influencing change – responding to violence against women with disabilities, 2007-2009 (PDF 173KB)

Full report, Word:
A framework for influencing change – responding to violence against women with disabilities, 2007-2009 (Word 240KB)

The Framework outlines 12 key strategies to guide the advocacy work of Women with Disabilities Victoria. The Framework targets family violence and sexual assault as priority areas of concern. The framework seeks to intersect with the Victorian Government’s Family violence and sexual assault reform strategies currently being implemented under the Women’s safety strategy and Fairer Victoria policy.


.

Women with Disabilities Victoria collaborate with VicHealth to address violence

Women with Disabilities Victoria provided input into to VicHealth’s framework to guide primary prevention of intimate partner violence.

More information: Working with VicHealth to address violence

Women with Disabilities Victoria contributes to the frameworks of other organisations addressing violence against women, such as providing input to VicHealth’s Framework to guide primary prevention of intimate partner violence. This framework guided VicHealth’s project, Respect, responsibility and equality: preventing violence against women, 2007 (PDF 42KB) and their Disability and health inequalities in Australia Research Summary (PDF).

Women with Disabilities Victoria contributed to a Review of literature addressing intimate partner violence against women with disabilities (PDF 109KB) to the VicHealth framework. Download a full copy of the literature review (PDF 109KB)


.

Other key resources addressing violence against women with disabilities

 

Royal Commission sends NDIS a message on violence

An online article on Croakey – 13 April 2016: Royal Commission sends NDIS a message on violence

 

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria DVRCV) has produced the following resources:

  • Getting safe against the odds: for women with disabilities who experience violence, 2007
  • Triple disadvantage: out of sight, out of mind. Violence against women with disabilities, 2003

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) has produced the WWDA Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities (2007), made up of four booklets:

  • It’s not ok, it’s violence: information about domestic violence and women with disabilities
  • A life like mine: narratives from women with disabilities who experience violence
  • Forgotten sisters: a global review of violence against women with disabilities
  • More than just a ramp: a guide for women’s refuges to develop disability Discrimination Act action plans

The Federation of Community Legal Centres has produced discussion papers related to violence against women with disabilities:

    • Advocacy: making rights realilty. For sexual assault victims/survivors with a cognitive impairment
    • Beyond justice, beyond belief

‘Enabling Justice’ – Paper presented by Margaret Camilleri at the National Victims of Crime Conference 23-24 September 2008, Adelaide