About Domestic and Family Violence for Women and Children with Disability

Women with disability are approximately 40 per cent more likely to experience Domestic and Family Violence (or DFV), an alarming statistic when considered in the context of Australia’s DFV epidemic.

Many women find it harder to escape violence because DFV services are inaccessible for women with disability. PWDA’s Building Access project aims to increase the accessibility of DFV services for women with disability in New South Wales.

People with Disability Australia are working with our friends at Domestic Violence NSW and Women’s Community Shelters to improve responses for women with disability experiencing violence.

DFV services include but are not limited to:

  • Women’s health centres
  • Counselling services
  • Accommodation and homelessness services
  • Family support services
  • Legal services
  • Women’s resource centres
  • Organisations tackling these issues on a sector-wide systemic level.

Women with disability may experience barriers to accessing services, including:

  • Physical barriers that mean they can’t access services
  • Information about the services may be inaccessible
  • The staff who work at the services may not feel confident supporting women with disability
  • Policies or practices in these services might exclude women with disability.

We can do the following to support DFV services in becoming more accessible:

  • Perform an access review of the service to assess barriers for women with disability to the service
  • Provide a detailed report on physical, information and attitudinal barriers and advice on implementing greater procedural access
  • Provide guidance on how to develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) for DFV services
  • Connect the service to a Community of Practice
  • Provide Disability Awareness and NDIS training

The Building Access project’s Expert Advisory Group is made up of disability advocates, women with disability, violence organisations, government representatives and other people who are interested in the project.

Please feel free to contact Freya Higgins on 0370 3100 or freyah@pwd.org.au if you have any questions or would like more information.