News

New resource to support women with disability experiencing violence

Today, the Women’s Legal Centre ACT has launched a series of three booklet about family violence, safety planning and applying for a Family Violence Order in the ACT in Easy English.

These resources, which are being launched as part of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, are designed to ensure women with low levels of literacy can access information about domestic and family violence and the process to obtain a Family Violence Order in the ACT.

Women with disability experience violence at higher rates than the general population, and face more barriers to accessing supports to help them leave violent relationships. Local disability advocacy group, Women with Disability ACT (WWDACT). WWDACT CEO, Kat Reed said,

“Women with disabilities experience violence more frequently, for longer periods and at a significantly higher rate. Fewer women with disabilities access family violence support services as those services do not always meet their access needs.

WWDACT welcomes these resources. As Kat Reed continued,

“Having resources that are accessible and accurate is essential for decreasing the barriers faced by women with disabilities in accessing support and protection. This Easy English Family Violence Resource is one of the first in our local community and will empower more women with disabilities to seek legal protection.”

The resources include information to help women recognise different types of domestic and family violence; the impact of violence including on children, the dynamic and cycle of family violence, factors which elevate risk and where to get support. The resources also include a booklet on safety planning during the relationship and after separation, when women are often at particular risk, as well as information on supports and help available to women in the ACT.

Importantly, the resources also include essential information about Family Violence Orders. These orders, made by the ACT Magistrates Court aim to provide protection to people experiencing violence by imposing restrictions on the perpetrator, for example not allowing them to attend certain locations, approach or contact the person experiencing violence . A Family Violence Order is one tool available to support people escaping a violent family or intimate partner relationship.

This resource is the first community resource which explains the process of applying for a Family Violence Order in the ACT jurisdiction in Easy English.

Women’s Legal Centre Principal Solicitor, Claudia Maclean, noted,

“It is essential that legal processes including those to obtain a Family Violence Order, are accessible to all women who need them. We want to provide this information to women in a way that is easy to understand and can support them through what can be a daunting and unfamiliar experience.”

The guide is available on the Women’s Legal Centre website (www.wlc.org.au) and the WWDACT website (wwdact.org.au) in a tagged PDF format, which allows it to be read by a E-reader.

These resources were developed with the support of an ACT Women’s Grant.

For comment

Claudia Maclean, Principal Solicitor, Women’s Legal Centre ACT, ph: 0411 797 146