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Domestic Violence twice as likely for Disabled


23 November 2006

Domestic Violence twice as likely for Disabled Women

Disabled women are up to twice as likely to experience domestic violence as non-disabled women, say disability support and advocacy group CCS.

A British Crime Survey found that disabled women were twice as likely to experience domestic violence as non-disabled women, and that they were likely to experience that violence over a longer period of time.

“Women with disabilities are subject to the same risks as all women in the community, and like all women require strong, extended support networks,” says Viv Maidaborn, CEO for CCS. “However, disabled women who are victims of violence often find the support services are limited, as the already stretched refuges and counselling services are rarely able to specifically accommodate their needs. We need to plan for more accessible services for disabled women and their children”.

CCS believes that when there is violence toward a person with a disability, public feeling often seems to sway, rather than having instant empathy with the disabled person. It suggests that because of this significant difference, there is a particular vulnerability for disabled women in our society.

“When people receive daily personal and intimate care from a person not chosen by them, the circumstances when violence and abuse occur multiply. It’s the experience of disabled people that they are often victims of violence or abuse,” says Viv Maidaborn.

CCS Background Information

CCS works in partnership with disabled people, their families and whanau to ensure equality of opportunity, quality of life and an environment that enhances full community integration and participation.

CCS exists to make a difference for disabled people, their families and whanau by removing barriers to inclusion and by offering support to disabled people to access all ordinary opportunities in their communities. Our community is made up of disabled people and their families and whanau, who live in Aotearoa New Zealand. We include all people who face barriers to inclusion on the basis of disability and who want to access the disability support services we provide.

Reflecting the commitment in the New Zealand Disability Strategy – Making A World of Difference Whakanui Oranga [Minister for Disability Issues April 2001], a key expectation of CCS work is that the New Zealand community grows its capacity to ensure that disabled people have the same rights, choices, opportunities and safeguards as other citizens.

CCS operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies. We deliver regular services to over 6,000 people with disabilities making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand. CCS works closely with other disability agencies to ensure we make best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping us to adopt best practice across the sector.


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