People who live with a disability are often at greater risk of sexual violence. It is important to note that each person's disability, and how their disability affects their life, is different, meaning some people are more vulnerable than others. There are not many statistics about the number of people with disabilities being affected by sexual violence, however in a 2007 study, it stated that over a quarter of survivors of sexual assault had a psychiatric or intellectual disability- even though they make up only 3% of Australia's population.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018.
Here are some links that can help support people of various abilities who are impacted by violence.
- WWILD (Working alongside people with intellectual disabilities) is a specialist support service for people who live with an intellectual or cognitive impairment. Their service offers counselling and Victim of Crime support. To find out more, head to their website here.
- 1800 RESPECT is the national domestic violence telephone counselling service. They have developed the 'Sunny' app for smartphones. This app is designed for women with disabilities who have experienced, or at risk of violence. The app provides quick access to emergency phone numbers, translation and relay phone services, and information about violence and rights. For more information, you can find links to this here.
- CASA Forum (Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault) have made a few different easy read resources. They cover topics like going to court, talking to police, what happens at counselling, and when sex is not okay (what is sexual assault). You can click here to read all these resources.
- They also have created a video that talks about women with disabilities experience of violence. Please see below.