The intersection of violence and disability
ANROWS Notepad | 21 September 2021
CURRENT ANROWS RESEARCH
How do we understand the DFV experiences of children and young people with disability?
Little is known about the experiences of domestic and family violence (DFV) of children and young people with disability (CYPWD) across life stages. Systems and services, who see themselves as responding to the needs of a family as a whole, have little incentive to keep disability front of mind, and this lack of understanding, resources, awareness of or education about people with disability has led to a lack of “disability literacy” among mainstream services. Similarly, disability services can lack expertise around DFV.
In “Connecting the dots: Understanding the DFV experiences of children and young people with disability within and across sectors”, a diverse, multidisciplinary team led by Professor Sally Robinson (Flinders University) is conducting research that aims to identify gaps and limitations in the way we currently capture data about CYPWD experiencing DFV and to map new intersections unique to this population.
This research intends to develop a new understanding of the support and service needs, priorities and perspectives of CYPWD experiencing DFV, as well as system barriers and enablers. It will also identify steps to bring service processes into better alignment with service priorities. The research will use an intersectional framework and will push back against a common tendency to see CYPWD as “units of risk”, centring the experiences and priorities of CYPWD who have experienced DFV to ensure policy and practice recommendations arising from the findings are child-focused.
You can read more about this project, and seven other projects making up the 2020–2022 ANROWS Core Grant Research Program, on the ANROWS website.
Indigenous women living with traumatic brain injury
Women in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities experience rates of head injury (including traumatic brain injury) 69 times higher than that of non-Indigenous Australian women, but little is known about the intersections between DFV and disability for them.
“Invisible disability: Indigenous women living with traumatic brain injury”, led by Dr Michelle Fitts of Western Sydney University, is intended to produce a body of work that explores the daily lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to understand the nuances of their experiences, and helps to inform the service delivery of disability, health and DFV agencies.
Researchers working in the field of violence against women in Australia are invited to register their projects with ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR) and, in so doing, contribute to a comprehensive picture of Australian VAW research currently underway that responds to the priority areas and priority populations outlined in Australia’s National Research Agenda to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (ANRA) 2020–2022.
You can read more about the Western Sydney University project, explore the RAR, and submit your research for inclusion via the ANROWS website.
ANROWS 2021–2024 SEXUAL HARASSMENT RESEARCH PROGRAM
New research program encourages research inclusive of people with disability
A recently released report from the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has found that further research on protective factors and interventions that take a lifespan perspective in preventing and protecting people with disability from violence is required.
ANROWS is now calling for grant applications from researchers across Australia for research to be commissioned under its 202–2024 Sexual Harassment Research Program. Funding is available for high-quality research projects that provide a robust evidence base for policy decisions in the area of sexual harassment, with a focus on sexual harassment in the workplace.
People with disability are among those groups of workers with a higher likelihood of experiencing workplace sexual harassment. Research projects that explore factors associated with this higher likelihood for people with disability, and that explore what works to prevent and respond to sexual harassment for this group, are encouraged.
Please visit the ANROWS website for more information on this program and how to apply.
NEW ANROWS RESOURCES
Women with long-term health conditions more likely to experience violence during COVID-19
ANROWS has today released a new series of fact sheets that capture findings from a 2020 study, conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), that surveyed 15,000 Australian women (aged 18 years and over) about their experiences of violence during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AIC’s study found that particular communities were disproportionately affected by domestic violence during the period from February to May 2020. For example, women with a restrictive long-term health condition who had reported any form of domestic violence during this period were
3 times more likely to experience physical or sexual violence
3 times more likely to experience coercive control
2.2 times more likely to experience both physical or sexual violence and coercive control
than women without a restrictive long-term health condition.
ANROWS collaborated with the AIC to produce these resources, summarising the findings from the study for quick reference. The fact sheet series highlights findings about barriers to help-seeking; the impact of increased time at home, social isolation and financial stress on women experiencing domestic violence; and the populations most at risk of further violence.
The fact sheets can be accessed through the ANROWS website.
UPCOMING ANROWS WEBINAR
COVID-19 and the “shadow pandemic”
The AIC has partnered with ANROWS to deliver further research into women’s experiences of IPV during the COVID-19 pandemic. To coincide with the launch of this research, ANROWS is hosting a webinar on Monday 11 October titled “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and family violence”.
The research represents the most comprehensive survey of women living in the Australian community about the nature of IPV experienced during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will unpack the findings of the study and its implications on future phases of the pandemic. An expert panel – including Anthony Morgan (AIC), Anne Hollonds (National Children’s Commissioner) and Acting Superintendent Commander Ben Martain (Queensland Police) – will explore how services across the DFV, police, health and legal sectors responded during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss lessons learned as we approach the end of the second year of the pandemic. The panel will also discuss how the pandemic impacts children who live with domestic and family violence, and there will be a live Q&A.
For more information on the webinar, and to register, please visit the ANROWS website.
QUEENSLAND DISABILITY WORKFORCE
New WorkUP Queensland resources launched
WorkUP Queensland, the capacity- and capability-building service for the Queensland DFV, sexual assault, and women’s health and wellbeing workforce, is proud to announce a new suite of free online training modules. These modules have been designed to support the disability workforce to build skills and confidence to respond to disability and DFV at both an individual worker and organisational level. This training was developed in collaboration with people with disability with lived experience of DFV, and with the disability workforce through a partnership with National Disability Services.
Participants who have already worked through the modules have reported increased knowledge, including
learning about intersectionality. I had never heard of this before. I was aware of all the things that make up intersectionality, but I wasn’t aware there was a word for it. This helps A LOT
and increased skills, like
strategies to support women who stay with the perpetrator, when planning to leave and when leaving.
And they now know more about where and how to access resources and support for their clients.
The modules are free and available on the WorkUP Queensland website.
The Queensland government has also recently released a series of information and support resources for women with disability and the people around them, helping them learn to recognise DFV and know where to find help when they need it.
WorkUP’s upcoming October SPARK webinar is focused on providing better support to women with disability. Victoria Tucker (WWILD) and Steph Chen (Children by Choice) will be presenting the findings of their project in which they sought input from women with intellectual disability about pregnancy and reproductive coercive control. You can register to attend this webinar, “Pregnancy making support for women with intellectual or learning disability who are experiencing reproductive coercion and abuse”, through Humanitix.
Finally, WorkUP Queensland is hosting a series of workshops aimed at supporting the DFV workforce to meet the needs of women with disability and their children. This series is already underway, with workshops continuing into November. It is proving to be a popular and engaging series:
Fantastic training. A great overview and practical examples that we can use in practice. The format with the short breakout rooms worked really too. Looking forward to the resources.
Find out more and register to attend through the “What’s on” page of the WorkUP website.
WORK WITH ANROWS
ANROWS is seeking a digital campaign officer with the skills required to undertake the role, which includes executing a digital media strategy that builds ANROWS’s profile to distribute national and international research findings on domestic, family and sexual violence, working towards an end to violence against women and their children.
The digital campaign officer will have primary responsibility for executing a digital media strategy that builds ANROWS’s profile as the authoritative voice on research relating to the prevention and reduction of violence against women. This will include developing social media campaigns (including designing collateral) to support the dissemination and take-up of research evidence from ANROWS’s research program, proactively identifying opportunities to build media engagement, and increasing stakeholder engagement across our digital channels.
Applications for the position close at midnight on Sunday 26 September 2021. For more information, and to apply, visit the ANROWS website.
ONLINE PANEL EVENT: COERCIVE CONTROL: THINKING BEYOND CRIMINALISATION
The UTS Faculty of Law’s Criminal Justice Cluster invites you to a free online panel event, Coercive control: Thinking beyond criminalisation, taking place from 4.00pm–5.30pm on Tuesday 28 September.
Speakers include Dr Jane Wangmann, Nicole Lee, Ashlee Donohue and Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, with Dr Elyse Methven moderating. The panel will include a discussion of critical perspectives on the criminalisation of coercive control. Registration and further details are available through Humanitix.
QUEENSLAND WOMEN’S STRATEGY: CONSULTATION PERIOD NOW OPEN
Queenslanders are invited to share their thoughts on the successor strategy to the Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21. The new strategy aims to promote and protect women’s rights and wellbeing, and ensure their full social and economic participation in society.
The 2016–21 Strategy outlines a vision of respect for women and embraces gender equality. The Queensland Government is proud of the work done under the Strategy, and hopes to build on this progress with the development of its successor.
Community feedback will be incorporated into the new strategy, which is slated for development by the end of 2021. To find out more and have your say, visit the Queensland Government website. Submissions close on Friday 8 October.
New research and resources
QLD Government. (2021). Domestic and family violence information and support for women with disability. https://www.qld.gov.au/disability/adults/domestic-violence-support
Session recordings: National Summit on Women’s Safety 2021. https://regonsite.eventsair.com/national-summit-on-womens-safety/
Books and reports
Koh, J., Kembhavi-Tam, G., Rose, V., Featherston, R., & Shlonsky, A. (2021). Rapid evidence review: Violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/research-report-rapid-evidence-review-violence-abuse-neglect-and-exploitation-people-disability
Harris, B., & Woodlock, D. (2021). “For my safety”: Experiences of technology-facilitated abuse among women with intellectual disability or cognitive disability. eSafety Commissioner. https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-us/research/technology-facilitated-abuse-women-intellectual-or-cognitive-disability
Sutherland, G., Krnjacki, L., Hargrave, J., Kavanagh, A., Llewellyn, G., & Vaughan, C. (2021). Primary prevention of violence against women with disability: Evidence synthesis. Respect Victoria. https://www.respectvictoria.vic.gov.au/research
Robinson, S., valentine, k., & Idle, J. (2021). Disability and family violence prevention: A case study on participation in evidence making. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426421X16143457505305
In the media
How perpetrators use technology to abuse women with intellectual disability—Women’s Agenda
Women living with disability can face extra hurdles breaking free of abusers, survivor warns—ABC
There’s a worrying rise of tech abuse against women with disabilities—News.com Body & Soul
We are leaving people released from prison vulnerable— Pursuit, University of Melbourne
Domestic violence services need training in disability access, say advocates—ABC
Drop politics, stop deaths: Women’s safety advocates want action after summit—SMH
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