Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 2006 – 2010


Women’s Centre for Health Matters, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, and Women with Disabilities ACT: ‘Women With Disabilities Accessing Crisis Services’ (2010) [PDF]

This project was a collaboration between Women’s Centre for Health Matters (WCHM), the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) and Women with Disabilities ACT (WWDACT), and which focussed on increasing the capacity for service providers to support women with a disability escaping domestic and family violence. It was funded by a grant from the Women’s Services Network (WESNET). The project aimed at exploring current practices, raising awareness and assisting domestic violence / crisis services in the ACT to become more accessible for women with disabilities by developing a set of best practice principles. Copyright 2010.


International Network of Women with Disabilities (INWWD): Document on Violence against Women with Disabilities (October 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

The International Network of Women with Disabilities (INWWD) is comprised of women from international, regional, national or local organizations, groups or networks of women with disabilities, as well as individual women with disabilities and our allies. The mission of the INWWD is to enable women with disabilities to share our knowledge and experience, enhance our capacity to speak up for our rights, empower ourselves to bring about positive change and inclusion in our communities and to promote our involvement in politics at all levels, towards creating a more just and fair world that acknowledges disability and gender, justice, and human rights. Copyright INWWD June 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian Government Consultation Paper: Family Violence – Improving Legal Frameworks (June 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

In July 2009, the Federal Attorney-General (Hon Robert McClelland) asked the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to conduct an Inquiry together with the New South Wales Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) into particular questions in relation to family violence, including ‘what, if any, improvements could be made to relevant legal frameworks to protect the safety of women and their children’. In late April 2010, the ALRC and the NSWLRC released a 1022 page Consultation Paper ‘Family Violence – Improving Legal Frameworks’ for the Inquiry. The Paper posed a range of questions, as well as options and proposals for reform. Due to the short timeframe for responses, WWDA elected to focus its response to the Consultation Paper on issues canvassed in Section 4 (Family Violence: A Common Interpretive Framework?) and Section 19 (Integrated Responses and Best Practice), covering such themes as definitions, guiding principles, protected persons, training and education, and data collection. Copyright WWDA June 2010.


Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA: ‘Violence Through Our Eyes: Improving Access to Services for Women from non-English Speaking Backgrounds with Disability and Carers Experiencing Violence Project Report’ (2010) [PDF]

This Project was conducted by the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA) with funding provided by the NSW Premiers Department (Office for Women) and Clubs NSW. The Project worked with women with disabilities from non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB), and service providers to improve responses to women from NESB with disability experiencing domestic violence. Copyright 2010.


‘Shh!! we’re “keeping mum” – an examination of the profound silence about Domestic Violence which persists for women with disabilities’ – By Sue Salthouse (2010) [PDF] [Word]

This Paper Paper was presented by Sue Salthouse on behalf of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the ACT Conference ‘Responding to Family Violence: National Perspective – Local Initiatives’; 6-7 May 2010, National Convention Centre Canberra. The paper examines the factors which predispose women with disabilities to an experience of higher levels of domestic violence than any other population group. Whilst the paper acknowledges that there are commonalities that women with disabilities share with non-disabled women in getting access to refuges and the justice system, it argues that there are additional factors facing women with disabilities which must be dealt with if progress is to be made in our protection. Copyright WWDA 2010.


Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK): ‘Disabled people’s experiences of targeted violence and hostility’ – By Chih Hoong Sin, Annie Hedges, Chloe Cook, Nina Mguni & Natasha Comber (2009) [PDF]

The Equality and Human Rights Commission commissioned the Office for Public Management (OPM) to conduct a two-phase project looking into disabled people’s experiences of targeted violence and hostility. The research has taken a broad approach to targeted violence and hostility against disabled people. The first phase of the Project involved a literature review. The second phase involved semi-structured interviews with nine stakeholders from a number of key organisations and agencies, as well as interviews with 30 disabled people with learning disabilities and/or mental health conditions from England, Wales and Scotland. This publication details the Project, its findings, and action required. Copyright 2009.


Victorian Women and Mental Health Network: ‘Increasing Safety and Gender Sensitivity in mixed sex psychiatric units’ – By Heather Clarke (2009) [PDF]

This report of the ‘Gathering Information’ project continues the work of the Victorian Women and Mental Health Network (VWMHN) undertaken during 2006-2008 to raise awareness of women’s experience of mixed sex psychiatric wards and to highlight the need for mental health services to develop gender sensitive responses which ensure safe treatment environments. Copyright 2009.


National Plan of Action to reduce the incidence and impact of domestic and family violence and sexual assault on women and their children: National Consultation Feedback Report – by Office for Women (Australian Government)(November 2008) [PDF]  [Word]

This document contains feedback from the extensive consultations undertaken by the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children throughout 2008 to inform the development of a National Plan of Action to reduce the incidence and impact of domestic and family violence and sexual assault on women and their children. Copyright 2008.


‘Sexual Assault and Adults with a Disability’ – by S. Murray & A. Powell for the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (October 2008) [PDF]  [Word]

Adults with a disability can face particular barriers to disclosure of sexual assault and the responses to those who disclose are often inadequate. Enabling disclosure and providing the most appropriate responses across public policy, the criminal justice system and the service sector require further and urgent attention. This issues paper, drawing on international literature as well as consultations with staff of a number of Australian programs, provides clear directions for future research and practice in responding to and preventing sexual assault among adults with a disability. Copyright 2008.


‘Building the Evidence: A report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria’ – by L. Healey, K. Howe, C. Humphreys, C. Jennings & F. Julian for the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service (2008) [PDF]  [Word]

This Victorian based project aimed to work with government, universities and the relevant family violence and disability sectors to bring together a body of evidence from which recommendations could be made that would help improve family violence service responses to women with disabilities experiencing violence. This Report details all aspects of the Project, and includes a detailed series of recommendations. Copyright 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘We’re women too!’ – Response to the Australian Government’s Consultation on the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children (July 2008) [HTML]   [PDF]   [Word]

In early 2008, the newly elected Rudd Labor Government announced its intention to establish a National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children. The National Council was established in May 2008 and has a number of roles, including the responsibility of drafting a National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children. As part of this task, in June 2008, the Council called for public responses to inform the development of the Plan. This Submission forms Women With Disabilities Australia’s (WWDA) initial response to that task. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA 2008.


‘Women, Domestic and Family Violence and Homelessness: A Synthesis Report’ – by Dr S.Tually, Dr D.Faulkner, C.Cutler & Associate Professor M.Slatter. Prepared for the Office for Women (Australian Government) (August 2008) [PDF]  [Word]

The objective of this report, commissioned by the Australian Government, is to inform the implementation of a number of Government election commitments to reduce homelessness and the incidence of violence against women and children. As such, the aims of the project were to: 1) examine how domestic and family violence leads to homelessness; 2) identify the characteristics of women who are most likely to become homeless because of their experience of domestic and family violence; 3) present the most successful strategies and models that prevent violence related homelessness; 4) present the most successful strategies and models that provide support and accommodation for women and their accompanying children, who become homeless so they can build stable lives and be able to participate socially and economically; and 5) recommend models (including staying safely at home models) that best assist women at different stages of their life course who experience domestic and family violence. Copyright 2008.


Women’s Aid (UK): ‘Making the links: Disabled women and domestic violence’ – By Gill Hague, Ravi Thiara, Audrey Mullender & Pauline Magowan (2008) [PDF]

This is the final report on the first ever national UK study of the needs of disabled women experiencing domestic violence and of the services available to meet these needs. The study aimed to produce research evidence and key recommendations with the aim of leading to: 1) practical improvements in both disability services and domestic violence services; 2) ideas for good practice in all sectors; and 3) recommendations for input into the strategic agenda nationally and locally. Copyright 2008.


‘Violence Against Women With a Disability’ – By Persephone (Belgium)(2008) [PDF]

Persephone, the Belgium Union of women with a disability or a chronic and disabling disease, has published an updated study on violence against women with disabilities. The Report provides an overview of the research that already has been done, preventive actions that have been taken and support currently available. It also shows the gaps that still need to be filled in this matter, including for example, in the area of access to refuges. Copyright 2008.


‘Men’s Violence against Women with Disabilities’ – By The Swedish Research Institute for Disability Policy, HANDU AB (2007)  [PDF]  [Word]

This report details findings of a study carried out in 2006-07 by the Swedish Research Institute for Disability Policy. More than 1000 disabled women responded to the survey questionnaire on men’s violence against women. Copyright 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Forgotten Sisters: Recognising and Responding to Domestic Violence in the Lives of Women with Disabilities’ – By Dr Leanne Dowse and Annie Parkinson (2007) [HTML]  [PDF]

Paper presented by Dr Leanne Dowse (Social Sciences and International Studies, UNSW) and Annie Parkinson (President, Women with Disabilities Australia) at the Domestic Violence, Disability and Cultural Safety National Forum 2007, Diverse and Inclusive Practice: Redrawing the Boundaries. November 8-9, 2007, at Brighton-Le-Sands, NSW, Australia. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Completely Knocked Out: Australian perspectives on disability, disempowerment and domestic violence’ – By Sue Salthouse (2007) [HTML]  [PDF]

World wide the incidence of domestic violence is of alarming proportions. This paper examines its genesis, cultural origins and impact from the viewpoint of women with disabilities. The cycle of poverty, low education and low employment perpetuate the disempowerment and power imbalances that enable domestic violence to thrive. There is an ongoing lack of global, national and local initiatives to address this scourge. These shortcomings are examined in the context of various UN actions, including Human Rights Conventions and the Millennium Development Goals. This paper presented on behalf of WWDA by Sue Salthouse (WWDA Vice President) at the Domestic Violence, Disability and Cultural Safety National Forum 2007, Diverse and Inclusive Practice: Redrawing the Boundaries. November 8-9, 2007, at Brighton-Le-Sands, NSW, Australia. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Development of a Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities Project’ Final Report (2007) [PDF]  [Word]

In April 2006, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) received funding from the Commonwealth Department of Families, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) Office for Women (OFW), under the Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Funding Program, to develop a ‘Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities’. The Project commenced on April 1, 2006. This Report is the Final Report on the Project to the Office for Women (OFW). This Report details the process and achievements of the Project and is constructed in line with WWDA’s Project Plan. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: WWDA Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities (November 2007)

In late 2007, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) published its ‘Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities’. The Manual is made up of four booklets: 1) ‘A Life Like Mine! – Narratives from women with disabilities who experience violence’ 2) ‘Forgotten Sisters – A global review of violence against women with disabilities’  3) ‘It’s Not Ok It’s Violence – Information about domestic violence and women with disabilities’ and 4) ‘More Than Just A Ramp – A guide for women’s refuges to develop disability discrimination act action plans’. PDF, Audio, e-text & Large Print PDF versions of the Booklets are available here. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the South Australian Government ‘Review of South Australian Domestic Violence Laws’ (May 2007)

In November 2005, the South Australian Government pledged to reform comprehensively rape, sexual assault and domestic violence laws in South Australia. A Discussion Paper was developed entitled ‘South Australian Domestic Violence Laws Discussion and Options for Reform Paper’. In early May 2007, WWDA developed a Submission in response to the Discussion Paper, and WWDA’s Submission is reproduced here. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service: ‘A Framework for Influencing Change – Responding to Violence against Women with Disabilities 2007-2009’ [PDF]

The Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service (VWDN AIS) recognises the critical need for government policy and services to take account of the needs of women with disabilities in responding to violence. This Framework outlines a plan to guide the work of the VWDN AIS. It seeks to intersect with the Victorian Government’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Reform Strategies that are currently being implemented under the Fairer Victoria Policy. Copyright 2007.


Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service: Literature Review re women with disabilities and violence prevention (2007) [PDF]

This document, prepared by the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network Advocacy Information Service, gives an overview of some of the literature dealing with the issue of violence against women with disabilities. Copyright 2007.


Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria: ‘Getting Safe Against the Odds: Family violence affects women with disabilities too’ (2007) [PDF]

This guide is for service providers in the family violence and disabilities fields who support women with disabilities experiencing family violence. It is based on information gathered from interviewing women with disabilities about their personal experiences of surviving violence. Copyright 2007.


‘Violence and abuse against women with disabilities in Malawi’ – By Marit Hoem Kvam and Stine Hellum Braathen (2006) [PDF]

This research project is a study of the nature of abuse, violence and neglect against women with disabilities in Malawi. Through in-depth interviews with 19 women with disabilities and one focus group discussion with four women with hearing impairment, their childhood as well as their present situation was explored, linked to possible abuse and mistreatment in different phases of life. A qualitative approach was chosen to gain detailed information about the nature of mistreatment. Copyright 2006.