Speech by The Hon Michelle Landry MP

Launch of the 1800RESPECT Sunny mobile app for women with disability

Good morning everyone.

I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners, the Ngunnawal people, and pay my respects to their elders — past and present.

As Assistant Minister Landry said, women and girls with disability are far more likely than women and girls without disability to experience violence.

Many are particularly vulnerable because of a lack of appropriate support, the failure of people to recognise their situation, or because the support person they rely on is the perpetrator of the abuse.

In 2016, 1800RESPECT asked Women with Disabilities Australia how we could improve support for women with disability who are impacted by domestic and family abuse.

Women with Disabilities Australia recommended the development of a technology resource to help all women with disability to understand violence and be supported to reach out for help.

Medibank Health Solutions received $600,000 under the Federal Government’s Women’s Safety Package’s ‘Safe Technology’ measure to develop and test such a tool.

The result, of course, is the Sunny app.

I also extend my thanks and congratulations today to the 1800RESPECT Expert Advisory Group for collaborating on this project.

Sunny uses interactive techniques to help women identify different forms of violence and abuse, and provides accessible information about their rights and where they can get help.

A custom keyboard also allows women to record their individual stories.

To support the app, all 1800RESPECT counsellors are being trained in disability awareness so they can respond to the specific needs of people with disability who make contact with the service.

To everyone who was involved in the development of the Sunny app, I want to say thank you for your commitment, and for ensuring that women with disability are not only included in the stories of violence, but in the solutions we seek to implement.