Women with disabilities remain in abusive relationships because current family violence services do not have the resources to meet their needs, says new Victorian research.
Professor Cathy Humphreys, the Alfred Felton Chair in the School of Nursing and Social Work at the University of Melbourne, is one of the key partners in the research – along with the Victorian Women with Disabilities Advocacy Information Service and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.
Professor Humphreys said women with disabilities were at greater risk of being abused and significantly more should be done to meet their needs.
The report finds that lack of suitable housing; personal assistance, information and economic dependency make it extremely difficult for women with disabilities to leave relationships.
It also finds that most refuges are inaccessible for women or children with disabilities.
The report “Building the Evidence: a report on the status of policy and practice in responding to violence against women with disabilities in Victoria” was launched at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 11 September.
(Source: University of Melbourne: September 2008)