A society in which all communities and people are free from family violence

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RFVP Disability Inclusion and Safety Resource Hub

Legal

The Disability Inclusion and Safety Resource Hub has been developed for organisations and practitioners who are working with people with disability who are experiencing or using family violence. 

The Resource Hub provides ready access to important resources that promote safety, accessibility, equity and inclusion of people with disability which can aid in reducing barriers and increasing safety.  Resources are relevant to Organisational Leaders, Specialist Family Violence and Sexual Assault Practitioners, Disability Services, Health, Family Support, Education and others.


In Victoria, the Office of the Public Advocate exists to assist people with disability and psychosocial illness to uphold their rights to play an active role in making decisions that affect them, and to receive the support they need to do so. The law states that adults are presumed to have capacity to make their own decisions, unless it can be shown that they do not. This section provides information about legal provisions to support people with disability to make
decisions that relate to their medical and/or financial needs.

While these provisions exist to support a person with disability, persons using violence may exploit a person’s rights to make decisions. It is important that a person with disability can be supported to safely access an independent advocate or receive support from a Specialist Family Violence Service.


The Office of the Public Advocate – Guardianship and Administration

About this resource: The Office of the Public Advocate have a range of resources and information about Guardianship and Administration, including accessible resources for people with disability.

Applying this resource: For specialist family violence and sexual assault organisations and practitioners.     

The Office of the Public Advocate – Supported Decision Making

About this resource: The Office of the Public Advocate have a range of resources and information about Supported Decision Making, including accessible resources for people with disability.

Applying this resource: For specialist family violence and sexual assault organisations and practitioners 

Securing Their Future - Planning for the future when you care for a person with disability

About this resource: This booklet is written for parents, relatives or significant others in the lives of Victorian adults who do not have capacity to make some decisions, or who may need support to make some decisions.

Applying this resource: For people with disability, their carers and practitioners.

The Witness Intermediary Program

About this resource: The Witness Intermediary Program provides support like the Independent Third Person program, but during Court proceedings. It isn’t available in all areas- please check your area.   

The Intermediary Program provides communication specialists to police and people who work in the courts to help them communicate better with victims and witnesses. This supports victims and witnesses to give clear evidence in a police interview or in a court hearing. The aim of the program is to reduce the trauma experienced by victims and provide greater access to justice. Referrals can be made by participating police stations and courts (your lawyer can request this for you). 

Here is a YouTube video for clients: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NXOWXicQn8&t=5s

Applying this resource: For people with disability and practitioners   

Women, disability and violence: Barriers to accessing justice: Final Report and Key Findings Report - ANROWS

About this resource: This project, Women, disability and violence: Creating access to justice, draws on the insights of 36 women with disability living in New South Wales and Victoria who outlined their experiences of seeking justice and security in the context of violence that they had experienced. 

Women with disability in Australia are recognised as facing significant challenges in accessing justice in relation to violence that they experience. Violence may include physical and sexual violence as well as other forms of abuse such as coercive control, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and physical and social isolation. The majority of the cases captured in this report were instances of domestic and family violence, broadly defined, meaning they occurred within a family or caring context. In addition, violence may take particular forms such as withholding required medications or aids, limiting access to disability support services or mainstream service providers, and threats related to women’s mothering and care-giving roles. Avenues to seek desired justice, which may include prevention of future violence, everyday security and safety, and consequences for the perpetrators of violence are complex, as justice services and pathways may not effectively support the access of women with disability. 

Read the full report here.

Applying this resource: For organisations and practitioners working with people with disability. 

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