Survey highlights violence against intellectually disabled women as National Research Organisation for Women's Safety opens
High rates of violence against women with
disabilities has been highlighted in a new survey, as a new
institute to combat abuse is launched in Canberra.
Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety is
funded by the Commonwealth along with the states and territories
and will streamline research into violence against women.
Its unveiling follows the release of a comprehensive survey of a
problem advocates say has long been in the shadows: the high rates
of violence and sexual abuse suffered by women with
The survey, Voices Against Violence, says women with
disabilities who are victims of abuse face especially daunting
Jane Rosengrave is intellectually disabled and was raised both
in residential care and in an institution.
She was first sexually abused when she was six years old and
again when she was 13.
"He sexually molested me," she said.
"I didn't know what was right, what was wrong, and I didn't tell
anybody because he said not to.
"He threatened me, said not to tell anybody, which I
Ms Rosengrave is working with three organisations in Victoria
that have released Australia's most comprehensive survey of
violence against women with disabilities.
She is familiar with one of the key findings - many women with
disabilities are repeat victims.
"When I was 16, this bus driver used to take us to church," she
"When he used to put the bus away, down on the highway, he
started wanting sex from me and I was too scared to tell
"That was when I was raped, at 16 years old."
References and further information