Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women with Disabilities: Family Violence and Disability Films
If you are experiencing family violence and are in a crisis situation, please call Victoria Police on 000. For counselling and support, please call 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) or Safe Steps on 1800 015 188. Alternatively, please see our attached referral pathways sheet for information on specialist services for Indigenous, LGBTQI+ and culturally or linguistically diverse women.
What are the films about?
Women with Disabilities Victoria has collaborated with National Disability Services to develop four short films for disability workers on family violence and disability. The films are: • Preventing and responding to family violence • Prevention of domestic and family violence • Early intervention in domestic and family violence • Responding to domestic and family violence
Why develop these films?
The purpose of the films is to help disability workers identify and respond to family violence. Research shows that people with disabilities experience higher rates of violence than people without disabilities. Women with disabilities in particular experience very high rates of family and domestic violence. The disability workforce has a vital role to play in preventing, identifying and responding to domestic and family violence.
Are the films accessible?
The films model best practice in accessibility. One version has an Auslan interpreter and subtitles. A second version of each film is audio described.
Film 1 – Introduction
This film provides an overview of domestic family violence and introduces the three other films. The films use scenarios to assist disability workers to identify, understand, prevent and appropriately respond to domestic family violence.
Research shows people with disabilities experience higher rates of violence than people without disabilities. Women with disabilities experience very high rates of domestic and family violence.
This film focuses on prevention of violence against women, specifically women with disabilities. Prevention of violence means doing things to change the causes of violence against women.
Family violence is preventable. To prevent violence against women with disabilities we need to understand its causes. The causes are also called ‘drivers’. Gender and disability inequality are the key drivers of violence against women with disabilities. Gender inequality and disability inequality can be seen in people’s attitudes and behaviours. It is also important to think of them in the way society is structured and the practices within our organisations.
This film focuses on intervention in response to family violence early warning signs. Early intervention aims to ‘change the course’ for people at higher risk of experiencing violence.
It’s important to understand what family violence is so you can recognise early warning signs and take action. Warning signs can include subtle or repeated patterns of control or coercion. Loss of power and control increases the risk of family violence. It can be hard for women with disabilities to recognise and challenge a pattern of control or abuse if they don’t know their rights and don’t have the power to make their own decisions.
Early intervention means understanding who is at risk of family violence and doing things to support them to be safe, before violence happens.
This film focuses on how to respond to family violence experienced by women with disabilities.
When you are working with a woman who is experiencing family violence, safety is a priority. It is essential to get advice so your actions don’t increase the risk of harm for the person you are supporting. Talk to your organisation and make sure you understand your professional and legal obligations.
An example of responding would be helping a woman call a family violence service for support or the police to report the family violence. A family violence service can help make a safety plan and provide other support, and some women may need to go to a refuge to be safe.