Violence against women with disabilities: Key findings from the Voices Against Violence research project

Stream: Gendered Disability Violence: Intersections in Research, Policy and Practice
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 11.00 am – 12.45 pm


Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) focusses on improving policy and practice responses to violence against women with disabilities and on violence prevention through advocacy, research and community education. Gender-based violence has been identified as a key issue affecting the health and well-being of women with disabilities. Research is seen as a key driver in building the evidence to highlight the terrible extent and nature of violence against women with disabilities. This issue is still a little known concern in the community and even within disability and violence response services. WDV has partnered with Office of the Public Advocate and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria to undertake research to deepen our understanding of violence against women with disabilities – the nature of violence and the experience of women in seeking assistance. In the context of Australian research on violence against women with disabilities this research is ground-breaking. It promises to extend our understanding of the complex terrain of disability and violence. The research methodology takes a multi-faceted approach in order to scope the issues from the perspective of legislation, policy and the multiple service response needs of women with disabilities. The partners will present some of the key findings from this research.


Keran Howe (Presenter), Women with Disabilities Victoria
Keran Howe is Executive Director of Women with Disabilities Victoria. Over many years Keran has represented issues related to both women’s health and people with disabilities in a various roles in both the health and disability industry. Women with Disabilities Victoria prioritises preventing and responding to violence against women with disabilities. In 2004 Keran won a Churchill Scholarship to study hospital responses to women experiencing violence. The results contributed to the Royal Women’s Hospital’s policy on screening for domestic violence. Keran has a background in social work.

Lucy Healey (Presenter), University of Melbourne
Lucy Healey undertakes research and evaluation on violence against women and children and has a particular research focus on violence against women with disabilities and the development of multi-agency partnerships. She is a member of the SAFER interdisciplinary team researching the Victorian Family Violence reforms. Lucy has undertaken academic and community-based research and evaluation projects, including volunteerism, reconciliation, poverty and social impact work in Australia and PNG, and doctoral and postdoctoral research about constructions of femininity and identity in Malaysia.