On the 29th of November WDVCAS hosted the first in a series of discussions with DFV and Disability Services on how we can improve access to support and justice for women with disability living with domestic and family violence. We know that women with disability are more likely to experience DFV than women without disability, and for longer periods and at greater intensity. We also know that our referrals don’t reflect that, so not all women are getting the support they need to be safe and free from violence. Twenty-two people representing thirteen disability and DFV services got together in the Women’s Safety Hub and shared with others what they saw as barriers to women with disability accessing DFV services, as well as how they support women with disability. In early 2023, we will regroup to explore some of the outputs of this first meeting and start putting things in place to improve access.
In the meantime, NWDVCAS has submitted a grant application in collaboration with Community Disability Alliance Hunter and Shibui Services to establish a Peer Support Group for Women With Disability Experiencing DFV. If successful, this Peer Support Group will be an additional support for women with disability, should improve referrals to DFV services, and can become a representative voice for women with disability experiencing DFV. NWDVCAS will know if the grant application is successful in March 2023.