On the 6th of March NWDVCAS hosted focus groups on behalf of the Australian Department of Social Services who are investigating access issues of women with disability experiencing domestic and family violence. The national project parallels our local project “Spotlight on Women with Disability Experiencing DFV” and is a fantastic opportunity to inform national policy on this important issue. Women with disability have the same right to DFV service, support and justice as women without disability, but the reality is that systems are not always in place to ensure that this happens.
Three focus groups were organised, representing disability services and advocates, specialist DFV and homelessness services, and generalist community services. A total of 26 representatives participated, representing a range of intersectional communities such as Aboriginal women with disability, LGBTIQA+ women with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse women with disability, and women with disability generally. The focus groups were facilitated by KPMG specialists on behalf of the Australian Department of Social Services.
A report and recommendations by KPMG are expected by DSS by end September 2023. In the coming weeks KPMG will be conducting interviews and focus groups with women with disability who have lived experience with domestic and family violence, and NWDVCAS hopes to assist with this process.
Post written by Nicola Hirschhorn
Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker – Disability and Older Women Focus Worker
Newcastle Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
This post available to download here.