Police and other services need to believe women with disabilities when we report violence

Police and other services need to believe women with disabilities when we report violence

Police and other services need to believe women with disabilities when we report violence.

Two women in conversation sitting on a couch.

Last week, the Disability Royal Commission heard about violence against women and girls with disabilities. Our Senior Policy Officer, Jen Hargrave, was at the hearing.

Women with disabilities appeared as witnesses and told their personal stories. Many spoke about how they did not get much support the first time they experienced violence. This was part of why they experienced more violence, often over many years, from different perpetrators.

Witnesses made many recommendations to the Royal Commission about how women with disabilities who experience violence can be supported. For example, some women asked that police and other services believe them when they report violence.

Ms B (not her real name) said: “I want you to stop making Royal Commissions, stop making recommendations and actually do it. Laws in place, no more empty promises.”

You can watch a video of Ms. B talking to the Disability Royal Commission on Twitter.

Tasmanian Legal Aid also spoke to the Disability Royal Commission. They support many women with disabilities experiencing family violence.

Tasmanian Legal Aid recommended that there should be a national legal and social service to support people with disabilities experiencing family violence. They said that the service should also support people with situations that involve child protection, family law and housing.

The last people to give evidence were from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). WDV recently did some research with the University of UNSW and Women with Disabilities ACT (WWDACT) about women and the NDIS. We found that women and girls don’t get a fair go at accessing the NDIS. The NDIA have not done anything to change this unfairness.

The NDIA also told the Royal Commission they don’t have any certain plans to improve how they respond to people with disabilities who are experiencing family violence. They could not say what the NDIA definition of family violence is.

Jen Hargrave and WDV member Nicole Lee wrote about the NDIA’s evidence on Twitter.

For more information about the Disability Royal Commission hearing on violence against women and girls with disabilities, please see Women with Disabilities Australia’s Twitter account.

The Commission’s next scheduled hearing will be 11 – 13 April. This hearing will be about the experience of people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises.

If you would like support around any of the issues in this post, please reach out.

You can call Lifeline on 1800 55 1800. Lifeline also has an online crisis chat service.

You can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Blue Knot has a dedicated counselling service for people impacted by the Disability Royal Commission which you can call on 1800 421 468.

 

“Inclusive Victoria” – How does the new State Disability Plan support women?

“Inclusive Victoria” – How does the new State Disability Plan support women?

“Inclusive Victoria” – How does the new State Disability Plan support women?

A white woman with short grey hair and sunglasses sits outise on a ench in front of a brick wall and tree. She holds a cane in her right hand. Her left hand is raised as though to ask a question.
Image sourced from Canva.

The Victorian Government released its new State Disability Plan this week: Inclusive Victoria: state disability plan (2022–2026). The plan aims to improve disability access and inclusion across Victorian services, including health, sexual assault and family violence services.

At Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), we are pleased that the plan recognises the gendered nature of violence against women. Sexual and reproductive health and parenting supports have also been included.

In the plan, the Victorian Government has committed to making family violence refuges meet disability access standards, according to the Disability Discrimination Act.

If the plan is followed, we should see a much needed increase in accessible private and social housing. We could also see an increase in resources devoted to Disability Action Plans, disability leadership and the accessibility of information provided by the Victorian Government.

WDV appreciates the work that has been done to ensure that this plan is put into action across government departments. It’s important that disability access and inclusion is part of all of the work that government does.

The plan shows a commitment to the Disability Discrimination Act and the Human Rights of people with disability.

We look forward to seeing which activities in the plan are supported in the May budget.

International Women’s Day 2022!

International Women’s Day 2022!

International Women’s Day 2022

Close up photo of a piece of artwork depicting late disability advocate Leslie Hall
Artwork by Larissa McFarlane – A tribute to Lesley Hall

Let’s have a conversation about the issues that impact women with disabilities, and how we can lift up each other’s voices on International Women’s Day.

It’s March 8, which means that IWD (International Women’s Day) festivities are going on around the world with morning teas, exhibitions, discussions, community events, and general celebration of the successes and achievements of women over the last year.

It’s also a day to think about the ways that women experience discrimination, and how far we have to go before we live in a world with true gender equality. As women with disabilities, we sometimes experience this discrimination in ways our able-bodied counterparts might not.

Women face discrimination in health services, with the medical system (on average) underestimating and undertreating women’s pain, and under-researching conditions that primarily impact women. The impact of this is disproportionately felt by women with disabilities who depend more heavily on these services.

Women face financial disadvantages, with lower wages over our lifetimes. Data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency released last month shows women typically earn about $25,000 less annually than men. Women are more likely to be engaged in unpaid labour (caring for family, work around the house, volunteering at schools, organising get togethers …) and more likely to be in part-time or insecure work.

Women with disabilities face the additional challenge of disability discrimination in workplaces, and lack of physical access. Workforce participation rates for Australian women with disabilities is 49 per cent, compared with Australian women generally at 72 per cent. Men with disabilities have a 58 per cent participation rate.

For a shining moment during the pandemic, when non-disabled  people needed access to work from home setups, it seemed that employment might become far more accessible to women (and men) with disabilities who struggle to access transport or can only work from home. It’s easy to feel forgotten as the pressure now mounts to return to the office.

Financial disadvantage is also a driver of domestic violence. Lack of access to funds can dramatically reduce our independence and give family, intimate partners or the state much more control over our lives. For women with disabilities, this can be exacerbated by the partnered rate of the DSP (disability support pension), as our personal funds can be reduced or removed based on our partners’ salaries.

In Australia, women with disabilities make up 49 per cent of disabled people, but only 37 per cent of NDIS participants, making it very likely that many women with disabilities are depending on family and intimate partners for basic supports.

Women with disabilities are three times more likely to experience family violence than women without disabilities.

On International Women’s Day, we are being asked to change the climate. For women with disabilities this means challenging patriarchal ideas. It also means looking at the intersection between biases that impact women and the systemic discrimination against disabled people in all areas of our lives.

Whether you are a woman with disability or one of our allies, here are some ways to take action today:

Let’s raise our voices on #IWD.

 

 

Changing the landscape resource launch!

Changing the landscape resource launch!

Multicoloured image with text: Changing the landscape. WDV and Our Watch logos at the bottom.

On Wednesday 9 February, we launched Changing the landscape: A national resource to prevent violence against women and girls with disabilities.

You can find the full Changing the Landscape resource on the Our Watch website.

The event was emceed by Our Watch Ambassador Drisana Levitzke-Gray, with an Acknowledgement of Country by Birri-Gubba/Urangan woman Jody Barney.

Our speakers included:

  • Patty Kinnersly, Our Watch CEO
  • Nadia Mattiazzo, Women with Disabilities Victoria CEO
  • Dr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Jen Hargrave, Women with Disabilities Victoria
  • Heidi La Paglia, Women with Disabilities Australia
  • Ellen Fraser-Barbour, Purple Orange
  • Dr Marg Camilleri, Federation University
  • Frances Quan Farrant, People with Disability Australia
  • Aurore Delcourt, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
  • Melissa O’Reilly, Our Watch

Changing the landscape is an evidence-based resource that shows that violence against women and girls with disabilities is preventable, not inevitable.

This national resource names ableism and gender inequality as the two consistent, intersecting drivers of violence against women and girls with disabilities, and sets out the actions needed to address these drivers and stop this violence before it starts.

A Right to Respect: Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Training

A Right to Respect: Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Training

A Right to Respect: Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Training

Simple illustration of four women, one with long dark hair and a short skirt holding a rainbow, one with pink hair using a manual wheelchair, one with yellow pants and flowy pink hair holding a baby, and one wearing a long skirt and a hijab.

Women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence as those without disabilities.  

These online workshops, aimed towards disability and social services workforces, will show:

  • How gender and disability inequality drives violence, and
  • How you can prevent it.

The training will be delivered over three sessions:

“Eye opening and important”

– Training participant

Location: 

Online via Zoom (we will send you the details after you have registered).

How to Register:

You can register for any individual session, or for all three at once, using the links below.

Register for session 1: Introduction to Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities.

Register for session 2: Drivers of Violence and Essential Actions.

Register for session 3: Prevention in Action.

 

Pricing  (per person, including GST) 

  • Organisation (cost per person)  – $85 per session
  • Individual/sole trader/student  – $65 per session

What you will learn: 

Session 1: Introduction to Prevention of Violence against Women with Disabilities 

  • How gender and disability inequality intersect to create disadvantage for women with disabilities 
  • Impacts of violence against women with disabilities 
  • Why gender inequity is a key driver of violence against women with disabilities

Session 2: Drivers of Violence and Essential Actions 

  • How our everyday actions and practice can contribute to violence against women with disabilities 
  • How gender and disability equitable practice can create change to end violence 
  • Strategies and tools to prevent violence against women with disabilities

Session 3: Prevention in Action  

  • How we can be active bystanders to prevent violence against women with disabilities 
  • How primary prevention can inform the safe management of disclosures of violence against women with disabilities 
  • Referral services which can assist in responding to women with disabilities who experience violence

The training is co-facilitated with an expert in violence prevention, and a woman with a lived experience of disabilities. It is evidence-based, aligning with the latest research on disability, Our Watch’s Change the Story, and the Preventing Family Violence & Violence against Women Capability Framework.

For more information:

Call: (03) 9286 7818
Email: [email protected] 

 

“I feel like I can make a real difference now”

– Training participant

 

Taxi Services Survey

Taxi Services Survey

Your Experience Using Taxi Services Survey

WDV is interested in hearing from you about your experience in using taxi services. Availability, waiting time, call center experience, driver behavior and more.

This survey is for all members who wish to participate.

The survey has been developed by Barwon Hub members over growing concerns that maxi taxi availability is limited, that sedans are sent instead of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and that people are being left for long periods of time waiting to be picked up creating anxiety and placing women and gender diverse people with disability at risk.

Please take the time to fill out the survey if you have experiences of your own that you would like to share with WDV to assist in gathering information to create change.

To complete the survey, please click the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9B27M7R

To ask any questions or for help with the survey please call WDV on (03) 9286 7800 or email [email protected]

Gender and Disability Coordinator Part-time (0.8 FTE)

Gender and Disability Coordinator Part-time (0.8 FTE)

Gender and Disability Coordinator (0.8FTE)

The Gender and Disability Coordinator is a position within the Gender and Disability Workforce Development Program.

This position is responsible for:

  • Implementing the Gender and Disability Workforce Development Program training and workforce deliverables over the next phase of funding.
  • Building and maintaining effective relationships with key stakeholders, to support Program delivery.
  • Contributing knowledge and expertise in prevention of violence against women with disabilities (PVAWD), gender and disability equity for the broader strategic positioning of women with disabilities in primary prevention.
  • Contributing to a strong and respectful team culture grounded in feminist and co-design principles

Position Description PDF version

Position Description Microsoft Word version

Applications close 5pm Monday September 6, 2021.

*Please note, only applicants who have addressed the Key Selection Criteria will be considered for this role.  

 

Gender and Disability Manager Part-time (0.8 FTE)

Gender and Disability Manager Part-time (0.8 FTE)

Gender and Disability Manager Part-time (0.8 FTE)

The Gender and Disability Manager is a position within the Workforce Development program team, this position is responsible for:

  • Leading the Gender and Disability Workforce Development Program and achieving the Program’s aims and violence prevention workforce development deliverables over the next phase of funding.
  • Building and maintaining effective relationships with Program funders, partners, and key stakeholders, to support Program delivery and expansion.
  • Contributing knowledge and expertise in prevention of violence against women with disabilities (PVAWD), gender and disability equity for the achievement of WDV’s strategic objectives and broader strategic positioning of women with disabilities in primary prevention.
  • Developing a strong and respectful team culture grounded in feminist and co-design principles
  • Participating in the effective management of WDV as a member of the senior management team.

Position Description PDF version

Position Description Microsoft Word version

Applications close 5pm Tuesday September 14, 2021.

*Please note, only applicants who have addressed the Key Selection Criteria will be considered for this role. 

We are Hiring!

We are Hiring!

Membership Engagement and Communications Officer (0.9 FTE)

The Membership Engagement and Communications Officer is a position within the Operations team.

This position is responsible for:

  • Building and strengthening WDV’s Membership base and the engagement and participation of Members in WDV’s programs and activities.
  • Communicating with all WDV Members, women with disabilities, key stakeholders and the wider public in promotion of WDV activities.

Position Description PDF version

Position Description Microsoft Word version

Applications close 5pm Monday August 23, 2021.

Marketing and Communications Coordinator (0.6 FTE)

The Marketing and Communications Coordinator is a position within our Operations team, this position is responsible for:

  • Promoting the goals and priorities of WDV by ensuring accessible, relevant, timely and effective marketing and communications of WDV to its members, stakeholders and the wider community.
  • Supporting the WDV Strategic Plan by pursuing marketing and communication initiatives and tools that inform and influence community attitudes, including the disability and related sectors, our members, government and key stakeholders.

Position Description PDF version

Position Description Microsoft Word version

Applications close 5pm Monday August 23, 2021.

Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Micro-webinar Series and Understanding Disability animated video

Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Micro-webinar Series and Understanding Disability animated video

Prevention of Violence Against Women with Disabilities Micro-webinar Series and Understanding Disability animated video

Women with disabilities experience considerable discrimination and violence based on gender inequality and disability inequality.
To combat this, Women with Disabilities Victoria have developed new resources to increase awareness and build the capacity of disability, health service, social service and prevention workforces to deliver gender and disability equitable, responsive and inclusive services.
 
Resources to be launched are:
1 animated video on Understanding Disability – introducing viewers to 6 keystones for how we understand disability and how we want others to understand disability- to build an equitable and safe future. 
• Micro-webinar series
WDV would like to introduce our new pilot online awareness raising micro courses. These courses explore violence against women with disabilities. The first course increases awareness of the impact of violence against women with disabilities and the second course introduces prevention of violence against women with disabilities. Both courses have a short online assessment and feedback form – once complete participants will receive a certificate of completion. 
These resources are part of a larger resource suite designed to promote prevention of violence against women with disabilities. 
The Gender and Disability Workforce Development Program is supported by the Victorian Government.
No photo description available.