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Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Community organisations to reduce violence against women with disabilities

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Social Inclusion and Member for Sydney

Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis and Minister for Social Inclusion and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek have announced new funding today two community organisations supporting women with disabilities to take action to reduce violence against women.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis today announced that People with Disability Inc in NSW and Montagu Community Living in Tasmania will share in almost $400,000 as part of the Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

“Shockingly, nearly one in three Australian women experience physical violence since the age of 15, and almost one in five women are victims of sexual violence,” Ms Ellis said.

“Women with disabilities are often more vulnerable to this type of gendered violence and that is why our Government knows we need to work with community organisations on the ground, with expertise in disability, to promote relationships that are based on respect.”

“All forms of violence against women are unacceptable – in any community and in any culture – and it is everyone’s responsibility to reject and prevent violence.”

“These grants will support activities that prevent, respond to, and speak out against violence, change community attitudes and behaviours, and encourage community responsibility to support the reduction of violence against women with disabilities.”

The Australian Government will provide:

  • $147,720 over three years to People with Disability to develop and roll out a domestic violence abuse and neglect training package focused on women with intellectual disability, staff and service providers.
  • $250,000 to Montagu Community Living to deliver its Find a Friend, Keep a Friend project to support women with disabilities in Hobart and Glenorchy.

People with Disability Executive Director, Michael Bleasdale said the grant will help the organisation carry out a training project that will provide “women with intellectual disability, and staff that support them, with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify what their rights are, what it looks like when these rights are being violated, and the complaints mechanisms they can access in order to achieve positive change.”

Minister for Social Inclusion and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek said she was delighted to announce this new investment for local community organisation People with Disability.

“There is limited knowledge about how best to address and support women with intellectual disability who are affected by domestic violence,” she said.

“Through this training package, staff and service providers across Australia will have access to the latest knowledge and skills to help them identify violence against women with disabilities, and what systems can help prevent violence from occurring.

Montagu Community Living CEO, Mary Gays is pleased about the grant as it acknowledges “that the needs of women who live with a disability have been recognised as a priority area, requiring targeted interventions in the prevention of violence against women.

“Women living with a disability have an increased vulnerability to domestic violence and often have difficulties initiating, developing and maintain friendships, and our project aims to encourage participation in a skill building training course which enables them to learn from and be supported by other women living with a disability,” she said.

The Australian Government has committed $3.75 million for Community Action Grants, which will be distributed amongst 17 community and sporting organisations across the country.

A range of funded projects will support different communities, with these two projects specifically supporting women with disabilities – one of the grant’s priority groups.

A copy of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 is available from www.fahcsia.gov.au.