Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 2001 – 2005


‘Confronting the Sexual Abuse of Women with Disabilities’ – by R. Amy Elman with contributions from T. Lodholz (2005)  [PDF]  [Word]

This document opens with a brief overview of the origins of our knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of women disabilities. It then considers the methodological quandaries related to sexual abuse research in general and the data on women with disabilities and the men that abuse them. Recognizing the obstacles and related gaps in our knowledge about the sexual abuse of women with disabilities may put us in a better position to both grasp the problem and pursue effective strategies for its prevention. The author concludes with an exploration of the efforts of women with disabilities and their allies to counter sexual abuse. These include, but are not limited to, research, personal and group confrontation techniques, administrative remedies, and formal legal redress. Copyright 2005.


‘On the Margins: Violence Against Women with Disabilities’ – By Ereshnee Naidu, Sadiyya Haffejee, Lisa Vetten & Samantha Hargreaves (2005) [PDF]

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) undertook a small-scale exploratory research project on gender based violence and disabled women. The authors aimed to make visible the nature and forms of violence against women with disabilities, their particular vulnerabilities to violence, and the barriers they confront accessing assistance. Copyright 2005.


National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) – Relationships Booklet [HTML]  [PDF]

This booklet was reproduced by the National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) as part of its Helping Prevent Family Violence in Rural Australia project. The original edition of this booklet was written and produced by the Domestic Violence & Incest Resource Centre (DVIRC) Victoria, with assistance from the Victorian Women’s Trust and the Lance Reichstein Foundation. The booklet is provided here on WWDA’s website in HTML format to promote accessibility of the material.


‘Family Violence & Sexual Assault: A Criminal Justice Response for Women with Disabilities’ – By Chris Jennings (2005) [PDF]

This paper was presented by Chris Jennings at the ‘Disability and The Criminal Justice System: Achievements and challenges’ Forum, held in Melbourne on 13th July 2005. The paper raises some of the challenges women with disabilities face when they seek a criminal justice response to family violence and sexual assault; the limitations of the current system and the need for further reform. Copyright 2005.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Double the Odds’ – Domestic Violence and Women with Disabilities’ – By Sue Salthouse and Carolyn Frohmader (September 2004)

A paper presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the national ‘Home Truths’ Conference, Sheraton Towers, Southgate, Melbourne 15 -17 September 2004. Copyright WWDA 2004.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the South Australian Government’s Discussion Paper: “Valuing South Australia’s Women: Towards A Women’s Safety Strategy For South Australia” (March 2004)

In March 2004, the South Australian Government released a Discussion Paper entitled: “Valuing South Australia’s Women: Towards A Women’s Safety Strategy For South Australia”, identifying it as ‘an essential step in fulfilling the Government’s pledge made at the last election to reduce violence against women’. The Discussion Paper proposed four key directions for a Women’s Safety Strategy for South Australia, and sought comments from the community on the proposed directions, as well as seeking comment on any identified gaps in the Paper. This is WWDA’s Submission. Copyright WWDA 2004.


Violence Against Women with Disabilities Project of Wisconsin: ‘Cross Training Workbook: Working Together to End Violence Against Women With Disabilities in Wisconsin’ (2004) [PDF]

This Cross Training Workbook was developed by a work group of the Violence Against Women with Disabilities Project of Wisconsin. It is a practically based Workbook targeting service providers who come into contact with women with disabilities. It covers w wide range of issues including for example: definitions of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; women with disabilities and vulnerability to abuse; screening for abuse or violence; collaborative partnerships, and much more. The Workbook contains a series of practical exercises. Copyright 2004.


Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: ‘Increasing Agency Accessibility for People With Disabilities – Domestic Violence Agency Self-Assessment Guide’ (2004) [PDF]

Providing domestic violence services to people with disabilities challenges our thinking about the experience of abuse and our strategies for reform. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires programs to be accessible to people with disabilities. This self-assessment guide is intended to assist domestic violence programs in evaluating their accessibility to victims with disabilities in their community. Copyright 2004.


Allies for Women in Need of Services (USA): ‘Violence Against Women with Disabilities – A study of sexual assault and domestic violence among women in Virginia who have mental health and/or cognitive disabilities’ (2004) [PDF]

Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault (VAASA) in partnership with Virginians Against Domestic Violence (VADV) , and Global Organization of Feminists with Disabilities (GOFWD), received funds from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to address the issues faced by women with mental health and cognitive disabilities, who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking. This is a report of that study. Copyright 2004.


Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs: ‘Proceedings Report of the Community Voices Partners’ Meetings on Ending Violence Against Women With Disabilities’ (2004) [PDF]

In 2002the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP) applied for and was awarded a U.S. Department of Justice grant. The purpose of the grant was to support WCSAP’s efforts to combine its expertise with the expertise of representatives from the disability community – people with disabilities and those who work with people with disabilities – to initiate a series of activities designed to create a statewide accessible and appropriate response system to sexual assault of people with disabilities. Copyright 2004.


‘The health impact of violence: A disability perspective’ – By Chris Jennings (2004) [PDF]

Nationally and internationally there is an almost unanimous consensus among researchers that women identified as having a ‘disability’ experience violence and abuse at a much greater rate than the rest of the population. Although there is no absolute agreement on the true extent of this violence it is generally agreed that women with disabilities are victimised at rates of at least twice that of the general population. Not only are women with disabilities at greater risk of abuse, abuse can be the cause of disability. This Paper was presented a the national ‘Home Truths: Stop sexual assault & domestic violence – a national challenge’ Conference, held in Melbourne, September 17th 2004. Copyright 2004.


‘Don’t Ask, Tell or Respond: Silent Acceptance of Disability Hate Crimes’ – By Mark Sherry (2003)   [PDF]  [Word]

This paper focuses on hate crimes against people with disabilities. In the paper the author clarifies understandings of hate crimes as a concept, outlines the FBI data on disability hate crimes, and then develops various explanations of this data. Copyright 2003.


Beyond Belief, Beyond Justice: The difficulties for victim/survivors with disabilities when reporting sexual assault and seeking justice. Final report of Stage One of the Sexual Offences Project. By Jonathon Goodfellow & Margaret Camilleri for the Disability Discrimination Legal Service (2003)   [PDF]  [Word]

This report presents the findings of a Project that examined the experiences of victim/survivors of sexual assault who have disabilities that affect their cognitive capacity. The Sexual Offences Project for Women with Disabilities (the Project) was conducted by the Disability Discrimination Legal Service Victoria Incorporated (DDLS). The Sexual Offences Project for Women with Disabilities was developed in response to long held concerns about the systemic discrimination victim/survivors of sexual assault with a disability can experience when seeking justice. Copyright 2003.


Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs: Creating Accessible Sexual Assault Services for People With Disabilities (2003) [PDF]

This pamphlet is designed for managers of sexual assault programs who strive to ensure that their agencies and services are accessible and welcoming to survivors with disabilities. Throughout this publication, the legal minimum requirements to which programs must adhere are outlined. However, even though minimum legal requirements are met, programs may still not be fully accessible or accommodating. This publication also proposes options and solutions that will take your agency beyond what is legally required, in the hopes of making each agency welcoming and easily accessible by people with disabilities. Copyright 2003.


Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs: ‘Sexual Assault Service Delivery Implications For People With Disabilities’ (2003) [PDF]

Providing advocacy services for victim/survivors of sexual violence is integral to the goal of ending sexual violence. Over the last three decades sexual assault advocates have developed common strategies and best practices standardized services such as: crisis intervention, information and referral, intake, medical advocacy, legal advocacy and prevention. This publication is designed to provide observations and give suggestions to advocates to increase the accessibility of these standardized services to people with disabilities. Copyright 2003.


Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: ‘Model Protocol on Safety Planning for Domestic Violence Victims With Disabilities’ (2003) [PDF]

The goal of this protocol and recommended policies is to support domestic violence agencies: to increase their safety planning services to people with disabilities and advance self-determination for people with disabilities by offering safety planning that is cognizant of environmental and social barriers. Copyright 2003.


Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: ‘Model Protocol on Screening Practices for Domestic Violence Victims With Disabilities’ (2003) [PDF]

The goal of this protocol is to support domestic violence agencies in the State of Washington in examining and revising their intake and screening process to include questions about disability issues. Inquiring if a victim has a disability that requires accommodation gives the program information that enables them to provide appropriate accessible services. Copyright 2003.


Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence: ‘Enough and yet not Enough: An Educational Resource Manual On Domestic Violence Advocacy For Persons With Disabilities In Washington State’ (2003) [PDF]

The goal of this education and resource manual is to expand the definition of what is “enough” when it comes to domestic violence advocacy, so that all domestic violence services are as accessible as possible to all persons regardless of disability. This manual is designed to offer practical guidelines for working with victims with disabilities. In it, we include: current issues facing victims of disability in Washington state, the laws requiring domestic violence shelters to be accessible, different types of disabilities and resources, history, experiences of victims with disabilities, tools to measure and carry out an accessibility plan, and a chapter on building allies in the disability community. Copyright 2003.


‘Violence and Women with a Disability Break Down the Barriers’ – Paper presented at the 3rd National Homelessness Conference – By Chris Jennings (2003) [PDF]

This paper was presented at the 3rd National Homelessness Conference ‘Beyond the Divide’ convened by the Australian Federation of Homelessness Organisations and held at the Sheraton Hotel Brisbane, 6-8 April 2003. Copyright 2003.


‘Silent Voices: Women With Disabilities and Family and Domestic Violence’ – By Judith Cockram, PhD (2003) [HTML]   [PDF]   and ‘Open Dialogue: Taking the ‘Silent Voices ‘ Women with Disabilities and Family and Domestic Violence’ report to the next phase’ – By J. Davis (2005) [PDF]

This research project arose as a result of the widespread experience of women with disabilities, disability and community agencies and the paucity of relevant literature in family and domestic violence. The objectives for the research were to: 1) document the nature and extent of family and domestic violence against women with disabilities who have accessed services in Western Australia; and 2) identify whether the needs of women with disabilities are being adequately addressed by relevant services. This is the Report of the research study. Copyright 2003.


‘Triple Disadvantage: Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ – Report prepared by Chris Jennings for the Violence Against Women with Disabilities Project (2003) [PDF]

The primary focus of this project was to create partnerships between disability services and services for women experiencing violence, in order to better address the needs of women with disabilities who are marginalised by the service system. Improving access to inclusive support is the ultimate goal. The project took the form of a one-year demonstration project focused on the Western Metropolitan Region, This is the Report of the Project. Copyright 2003.


British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health: ‘Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Women with Serious Mental Illness’ – By Marina Morrow (2002) [PDF]

This paper documents the practice in five different mental health care settings in two British Columbia health regions (Vancouver/Richmond Health Board and the Capital Health Region) with respect to the provision of services to women with chronic and persistent mental health problems who are survivors of violence. Focus groups and interviews were used for the five mental health care settings. Additionally, survey tools were used to gather information about programming across all health regions in British Columbia. Copyright 2002.


Penrith Women’s Health Centre: ‘Be Safe Be Sure’ – A Project for Women with Intellectual Disabilities on Safety and Sexuality (2002) [PDF]

This one year Project was funded by the NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning and undertaken in the Western area of Sydney. The Project was an educational project for women with intellectual disabilities in the area of safety and sexuality. The Project also aimed to build partnerships between disability services in the area, mainstream services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.