This Submission from Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) introduces into the Royal Commission discussion of sexual and reproductive violence against women and girls with disability. This is a topic that has been largely neglected since the Royal Commission commenced in April 2019, exemplified by the fact there is no Issues paper nor calls for submissions on this topic. It is vital that the Royal Commission recognises sexual and reproductive violence as a significant dimension of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, that it explores sexual and reproductive violence to the same extent as other topics that have occupied the Royal Commission’s work since its inception, and that it address realisation of sexual and reproductive rights and justice as part of its exploration of how to promote a more inclusive society for people with disability.
WWDA’s core argument in this submission is that women and girls with disability experience sexual and reproductive violence across their lives in relation to menstruation and reproduction, sexual identity and expression, intimate relationships, pregnancy, and parenting. This violence is a violation of human rights and it must be prohibited and redressed. This has been the position of WWDA for a number of years, and we continue to hold this position.