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Women with disabilities fear government response to domestic violence threat will leave them behind – ABC News

By political reporter Claudia Long; posted 6.5.24

Women with disabilities fear they’ll be left behind by new federal government plans to address violence against women, despite being particularly at risk.

While those fleeing a violent partner are eligible for a $5,000 payment, that doesn’t apply to those trying to escape a carer or family member.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said those with disabilities, in danger from a violent carer or family member, should go to the NDIS quality and safety commissioner or Centrelink.

But women with disabilities say that can be near impossible and the government must do more to protect them from violence.

‘You’re trapped in there and you don’t have a way to escape’

Women with a disability are almost twice as likely as women without to have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner.

The president of People with Disability Australia, Marayke Jonkers, described that as a terrifying statistic.

“It doesn’t matter how successful or outwardly … happy you are, you can be in those statistics. I’m a Paralympian, very well accomplished and I’m in the statistics,” she said.

She said women with disability are at greater risk of abuse by those supposed to be caring for them.

“That’s where violence or sexual assault is happening from caregivers. They may not be your intimate partner, but you’re trapped in there and don’t have a right way to escape.”

Ms Jonkers said authorities, courts and hospitals sometimes put women at further risk by placing them back with the carers who are hurting them and that people with disabilities must be involved in decisions on how to support victim survivors of violence.

“If a person with a disability is not at the table, things will get overlooked for one of the most vulnerable groups,” she said.

“We’re not vulnerable because we’re having a disability, we’re vulnerable because of the situations we’re put in.”…


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