Identifying economic abuse for women with disability in Victoria: A toolkit for service providers and people affected by family violence: Final Report (Pdf)

This project, Identifying economic abuse for women with disability in Victoria: A toolkit for service providers and people experiencing family violence draws on data collected for the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety funded project Women, disability and violence: Barriers to accessing justice (Maher et al., 2018). In that project researchers heard from 36 women in Victoria and New South Wales about their experiences seeking justice and safety in the context of family violence. Many of these women spoke specifically about economically coercive behaviours and the impact of this on their ability to secure safety. Researchers found a lack of awareness of the types of family violence perpetrated against women with disability and critically, a lack of accessible resources to assist in the identification of and support of women with disability to move away from such violence. In their final report researchers wrote that the ‘limited availability of resources for disability advocacy’ is a significant issue as these are ‘often a critical avenue for the disclosure of violence by people with disability’ (Maher et al., 2018, 31). The development of the toolkit for this project draws directly on the data gathered from these women.

The research team would like to thank the women who participated in the focus groups and final consultation as well as those who shared their stories with us for the original ANROWS-funded research upon which this project is based. We would also like to extend our thanks to the numerous stakeholders and experts who contributed so generously during the focus groups and afterwards.

We thank the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust for funding this project as part of their small grants program in 2018-2019. We would also like to acknowledge the ANROWS funding for Women Disability and Violence: Creating Access to Justice that began this work and we would like to thank members of the research team with whom we worked on this project, Dr Claire Spivakovsky and Professor Jude McCulloch from Monash University, Kara Beavis from Oueensland University of Technology, and Dr Jessica Cadwallader, Meredith Lea and Therese Sands from People with Disability Australia.