Abuse of Women with Disability
Women with a disability may be particularly vulnerable to abuse and violence for a number of reasons. Depending on the particular disability, these reasons include:
For all of the above reasons, women with disabilities may be more vulnerable to violence.
Research has established that women with disabilities experience violence at a higher rate, for longer periods and are less likely to report abuse, than women with disabilities (Healey, 2008 as cited by 'Women with Disabilities, Victoria)
Women with disabilities also tend to be:
They can therefore be subjected to abuse that does not necessarily fit traditional definitions of violence e.g.:
The legal system has many barriers for women with disabilities. For example, there is a lack of accessible information about rights and the legal process. Many people with a disability have difficulty in communicating their experiences and in being believed by workers within the legal system. Often a Woman will need an advocate to assist her in dealing with the legal system. An advocate can assist in getting people within the legal system, such as the police, to understand the nature of the Woman’s disability and to take this into account.
For an overview of the status of women with disabilities in Australia go to - Gender and Disability
Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) published its Resource Manual on Violence Against Women With Disabilities.
The Manual is made up of four booklets and these are:
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has the following publication:
Getting safe against the odds – available at http://www.dvrcv.org.au/disability/
Federation of Community Legal Centres:
NSW Network of Women with Disability:http://mdaa.org.au/service/advocdev/NSW-Network-of-Women-Index.html
For more information see Articles
(This information is kindly supplied by Women’s Legal Service, Brisbane “Queensland Women and the Legal System”)