Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability: Violence against and abuse of people with disability at home
This submission details ANROWS research relevant to violence against and abuse of people with disability at home in response to a call for input by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (“the Royal Commission”).
The Royal Commission publishes issue papers on specific areas of inquiry for feedback by people with disability and others. Violence against and abuse of people with disability at home was identified as a specific area of inquiry for the Royal Commission, and responses to the Violence and abuse of people with disability at home issues paper were requested. ANROWS’s submission in response to this issues paper provides an overview of key evidence, identifying that:
- Violence in the home is a common experience for women with disability, and these women are particularly vulnerable to specific forms of violence such as financial abuse, the deprivation of basic needs, and insults intended to shame or humiliate.
- Women with disability who are also First Nations women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, older women, and/or LGBTQ+ and intersex people can experience intersecting challenges.
- Women with disability would be best supported by policy and service responses that address the gendered nature of violence, and should be considered at the centre of responses rather than as an “extra” group to consider.
- The differing approaches taken by disability services and domestic violence services to women with disability can act as a barrier to collaboration and service access.
- There is a high incidence of disability among young people who use violence in the home, and many of these young people are also victims and survivors of domestic and family violence. Legal system responses that require young people to be considered as either a victim or a perpetrator do not capture this complexity.
The submission also provides an overview of promising practices and services that currently support women with disability, and of relevant forthcoming ANROWS research.
The Royal Commission has since released an Overview of responses to the Violence and abuse of people with disability at home issues paper. This paper identified specific comments from ANROWS’s submission on young people who use violence in the home, the specific forms of violence that women with disability are vulnerable to, and the rates of sexual assault in the home experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse trans women.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). Re: Violence and abuse of people with disability at home [Submission]. ANROWS.