Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Hobart project to help reduce violence for women with disability

The Australian Government is investing $250,000 in a new project in Hobart which helps women with intellectual disability develop skills and friendships to reduce their risk of domestic violence.

The Minister for the Status of Women and Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins, today launched Montagu Community Living’s Find a Friend, Keep a Friend project at the Women’s Health Centre in Glenorchy.

“This is a fantastic project that will help almost one hundred women with disability in our local area,” Ms Collins said.

“The project will also train 42 disability support workers and develop and deliver a training package for use across the disability and community services sector around Australia.

“The statistics on domestic violence in Australia are disturbing – especially for women with a physical or intellectual disability.

“These women are more likely to experience domestic violence and the violence is likely to be more severe and continue for longer.

“The Gillard Government believes it’s important to build knowledge and capacity in the community about how to best address and support women with intellectual disability affected by domestic violence.

“This project will support women across Hobart and Glenorchy to build their confidence and relationship skills and develop friendship networks with people their own age.

“This will help to reduce the risk of them entering an abusive relationship.

“This project will make a real difference across Hobart and the rest of the country as Montagu Community Living shares the lessons learnt in an area which needs better understanding,” Ms Collins said.

The project is funded through the Community Action Grants, an election commitment of $3.75 million over three years for projects which support community groups and sporting organisations to reduce violence against women.

A total of 17 community and sporting organisations across Australia have been funded under the Community Action Grants to implement innovative projects which prevent violence against women and encourage respectful relationships.

The Community Action Grants are one of many initiatives under the Gillard Government’s $86 million National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

“The Gillard Government will continue to work with local organisations like Montagu Community Living to help promote respectful relationships and ensure women can live lives free of violence,” Ms Collins said.