The Voices Against Violence Research Project was a cross-sectoral partnership, between Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV), the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Domestic Violence Resource centre Victoria (DVRCV).
The project investigated the circumstances of women with disabilities who had experienced violence.
There was a need for this research to be undertaken as no evidence based data existed about the nature and extent of violence against women with disabilities in Victoria, nor what an appropriate response should look like.
The project involved:
- Engaging with the disability, mental health, family violence, sexual assault, legal and other service sectors regarding their current practices
- Carrying out a review of OPA files
- Interviewing OPA staff and volunteers
- Reviewing legislation here and overseas
- Interviewing women with disabilities who had been victims of violence and were willing to share their stories.
- Developing evidence-based recommendations for legal, policy and service sector reform.
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.
This journey has taken us 2 years.
There are 7 individual papers in the suite, including an Easy English version and a Summary Report and Recommendations
A launch is being held on May 15th for organisations to hear from the authors of the papers. Natasha Stott Despoja, Chairperson of the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children and Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls will be launching the research papers.
Watch this space to find out how you can purchase hard copies of the suite or individual papers orto download from our website.
For media enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the launch contact the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria on 9486 9866 or email email@example.com
We were pleased to be invited to present at the 2014 South West Disability Network Conference. 70 people chose to attend our panel discussion which explored ways for the disability sector to prevent, recognise and respond to violence against women with disabilities.
A theme in the discussion was the value of working with specialist agencies to recognise, prevent and respond to violence. The panel itself demonstrated the strengths of working together with panellists coming from a range of services; Barwon CASA, Victoria Police, Zena Womenâ€™s Services and the Barwon Family Violence Regional Integration Committee.
Two panellists were women with disabilities, and the discussion highlighted the importance of including women with disabilities in all discussions about violence against women with disabilities â€“ both at a service level and at a policy making level.
Panel members being introduced at the Great South West Disability Conference - Left to Right: Fofi Christou (WDV), Peter Miller (Victoria Police), Jess Boccia (Barwon CASA), Claire Yeatman (Zena Womenâ€™s Services), Jen Hargrave (WDV), Fiona Guthrie (WDV) and Russelle Beardon (Barwon Family Violence Regional Integration Coordinator).
The Australian Intercultural Societyâ€™s (AIS) is a not for profit organisation promoting multiculturalism and fostering intercultural and interfaith dialogue. As they are looking to build stronger ties with organisations like ours we were invited to attend one of their regular lunch forums.
Sharon Granek was lucky enough to attend and hear about the current status of human rights in Australia from Professor Gillian Triggs, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission â€“ AHRC. What Professor Triggs talked about left Sharon and many others in the room speechless.
Â· There are 5,000 children in mandatory detention.
Â· Over 33,000 people in Australia are currently claiming refugee status.
Â· Many of these people have bridging visas but no work rights. We are condemning them to live in extreme poverty, constantly relying on handouts or worse still, having to turn to petty crime, just to survive.
While the U.N. has condemned Australia for its cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of asylum seekers, there is little the AHRC can do. The AHRC point of reference is to keep the Australian government accountable but this is based on international not domestic law. This results in the AHRC having very little â€™realâ€™ power.
While Professor Triggs presented a very sobering overview of what is happening, it was a unique great opportunity for WDV to network with some of our CALD friends.