Sending the message

Clear message: South West Carer and Respite Services Network coordinator Wendy Jones holds up a large version of a new pocket guide about family violence. Picture: Vicky Hughson

Clear message: South West Carer and Respite Services Network coordinator Wendy Jones holds up a large version of a new pocket guide about family violence. Picture: Vicky Hughson

When people talk about challenging domestic violence, they can forget some people face additional barriers.

That’s why community groups have come together to provide specific resources for women with a disability who may be facing abuse.

A new pocket guide with simple information and depictions explaining domestic violence with numbers to call for assistance will be distributed next week.

South West Carer and Respite Services Network coordinator Wendy Jones is part of a group, ‘everybody’s business’, that led the project.

“We call it ‘everybody’s business’ because that’s the main message – that prevention of violence against women with disabilities is everybody’s business,” Ms Jones said.

“Women with disabilities experience the same kind of violence as women without disabilities, but they also encounter disability-based violence.

“For example, that could mean something like someone removing their mobility aid so that they’re not able to get around anymore or someone hiding their medication and putting it out of their reach so that they aren’t able to move about in the world in the way that they normally would.

“There’s an intersection of gender discrimination and disability discrimination that can make those people appear more vulnerable and perpetrators can take advantage of that.”

Ms Jones said the state government was taking a leading role in challenging the issue, and said the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the parliamentary inquiry into abuse in disability services had been crucial for shedding light on the issue.

South West Carer and Respite Services Network deaf services coordinator Erica Smith said the resource could be useful for everyone.

“You think violence against women is big in the community, but it’s even bigger for people with a disability,” she said. “It really could be for anyone because it’s been proven your mental capacity in a trauma situation decreases.”

  • To access a copy contact Mpower on 55618111. Confidential domestic violence counselling is available on 1800 737 732.
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