Prevention of Domestic Violence of Women with Intellectual Disability

Statistics show that women with disability are at a higher risk of domestic violence then their peers. People with Disability Australia Training Officer Mel Harrison writes about the upcoming one-day CCWT workshop Prevention of Domestic Violence of Women with Intellectual Disability aimed at equipping services to effectively support women with intellectual disability who have experienced domestic violence:

Domestic violence is about the power and control that one person or multiple people have over another person. It encompasses a broad range of relationships, despite the common understanding that it just refers to intimate partner violence. For people with disability, domestic violence is often characterised by violence perpetrated by a family member, carer or co-resident of a group home or institution.

Domestic violence can be a taboo topic, even more so if you are a person with intellectual disability whose experiences are often ignored or swept under the carpet by family, carers or even the police. However, statistics show that women with disability are approximately 37.3 per cent more at risk of domestic violence then their peers1. In NSW, 43 per cent of the women who experienced personal violence in 2011 were estimated to have a disability or a long-term health condition2. This is 7 per cent higher then the national average.

People with Disability Australia developed this training package in collaboration with women with intellectual disability to ensure that the content provides appropriate strategies to work with women with intellectual disability, including addressing communication needs and developing safety plans for women who may have experienced domestic violence.

The training looks at the different types and characteristics of abuse that can occur, how to appropriately recognise and respond to domestic violence against women with intellectual disability, and importantly also how to prevent it.

The training also invites discussion about how to address and remove barriers to accessing justice that women with intellectual disability experience, and different strategies of support that are available to ensure that women with intellectual disability gain control back over their lives.

Mel will be presenting Prevention of Domestic Violence of Women with Intellectual Disability in Sydney on April 28. For more information on the training please contact Training Officer Mel Harrison at People with Disability Australia (02) 9370 3100 or pwd@pwd.org.au

References

1 The National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009

2 Women NSW, 2014, Women in NSW 2014, Women NSW, Department of Family and Community Services, The NSW Government.

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