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Survey highlights violence against intellectually disabled women as National Research Organisation for Women's Safety opens

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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 disabilities.

 

The survey, Voices Against Violence, says women with disabilities who are victims of abuse face especially daunting challenges.

 

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 didn't."

 

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 said.

 

"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 people.

 

"That was when I was raped, at 16 years old."

 

References and further information

This article was originally produced by ABC.

 

To view the full article, visit the ABC website http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-16/survey-highlights-violence-against-intellectually-disabled-women/5456416 

 

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