Evidence suggests that Australian women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely as women and girls without disabilities to experience violence and abuse throughout their lives.
Today, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash will open the Stop the Violence Project (STVP) National Symposium on Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities at the Human Rights Commission in Sydney.
The national Stop the Violence Project (STVP) is a priority project under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and is being undertaken by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and People with Disability Australia (PWDA).
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and Chair of the Stop the Violence Project Steering Group, Elizabeth Broderick said: “The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children recognises that in Australia, women and girls with disabilities experience high levels of domestic and family violence and sexual assault and have high unmet needs in terms of access to domestic violence, sexual assault and related community services,”
“The STVP is the first step in addressing this violence against women and girls with disabilities, in order for them to participate as full and equal citizens in Australian society.”
President of WWDA, Karin Swift said: “The National Symposium brings together representatives from a broad range of government and non-government policy and service sectors to assist in identifying measures for service system reform. Such measures are critical to ensure that all violence prevention efforts are inclusive of women and girls with disabilities.”
Participants at the National Symposium will hear directly from women with disabilities, as well as researchers and practitioners, about the multi-faceted ways that violence occurs and affects women and girls with disabilities. Workshop groups will address key areas for policy and practice reform.
Commissioner Broderick said: “The National Symposium is the beginning of discussion on this important issue, and the day’s deliberations will give a sound platform for further work and improvements for women and girls with disabilities who experience, or are at risk of, violence.”