Prevalence of Violence against Women with Disabilities

8th December Dignity Party Film Night – Wonder (PG)

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming fictional story of August (Augie) Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Date: Friday, 8 December 2017

Start time: 06:00 PM (movie screens 6.30, please bring cash only if buying tickets on the night and come early to help us get everyone seated in time).
Venue: Wallis Cinemas Mitcham Level 1 Mitcham Shopping Centre, 119 Belair Road, Torrens Park

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible venue, open captions for this screening, audio description upon request (please request when booking).

Get in quick!  Get tickets here
Ticket Prices:
Concession Ticket: $15
Concession plus 5 Raffle Tickets: $20
Ticket only: $20
Ticket plus 5 Raffle Tickets: $26
Please SHARE this event on Facebook!

FRIDAY 1st December Disability Pride Parade 2017

Wear purple! We’re loud, we’re proud, we’re 18% of the crowd!
Come and celebrate disability with a rally on the steps of Parliament House where we will hear from Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent and others.

WHEN: Friday 1st December
10.00am Wear purple and join us at Parliament House, North Terrace
10.15am Hear from Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent and others!
11.10am The Pride Parade moves down King William Street to Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga.
11.15am We join the International Day of People with Disability ‘Celebrate on the Square’ activities.

You are welcome to bring your own banners/placards with messages of support (or pick one up at Parliament House).
There will be free purple hats and balloons!
Join us as we celebrate the 2017 International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), the United Nations day promoting understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.  We want to see you there to celebrate inclusion with us!

Accessible toilets on the Parade route: standard accessible toilets are available at Parliament House, North Terrace. An accessible toilet with ceiling hoist (BYO sling) is available at the Community Visitor’s Office, 3rd floor Flinders University building, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

Participation in the Disability Pride Parade is free and open to everyone. If you would like to participate, meet us at 10.00am at the steps of Parliament House. Everyone is welcome!
Help spread the word and invite others through the Facebook event!

White Ribbon Ambassador Newsletter – SA 

Click here to read more  Rick Neagle

What do we know about violence against women with disabilities?
A review of the literature suggests that the rates of sexual victimisation of women with disabilities range from 4 to 10 times higher than for other women. Estimates also suggest that 90% of Australian women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse, with 68% having been sexually abused before they turn 18 years of age.

Like other women, women with disabilities are likely to know the perpetrators as partners or family members, but the presence of disability means that they also face an increased risk of violence and abuse from other people on whom they may rely for support, such as healthcare providers or paid support workers.

Government policies and programs fail to address this issue!
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Australia on 17th July 2008, is widely seen as a landmark agreement to holistically reframe the needs and concerns of women (people) with disabilities in terms of their human rights under a single convention.

While Australia is party to such an international human rights treaty, treaties are not self-executing and require legislative implementation to be effective in domestic legislation. In Australia, there is no specific legal, administrative or policy framework for the protection, investigation and prosecution of violence against people with disabilities. A comprehensive legislative approach based on a human rights framework is needed. This would criminalise all forms of violence against women with disabilities, providing effective prosecution and punishment of perpetrators while empowering, supporting and protecting survivors.

The Family Law Act (FLA) 1975 and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 are two (2) current examples of domestic legislation that makes discrimination of women with a disability unlawful and promote equal rights, equal opportunity and equal access for women with disabilities, protecting them from unfair treatment in many areas of public life.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, (NDIS) Act 2013, also sets out the objects and principles of the scheme to provide reasonable and necessary supports to people with disabilities, including early intervention supports for those deemed eligible. The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework outlines a strategy to protect people with disabilities. If the NDIS is implemented in accordance with its legislation, it may mitigate some of the abuse and the distress experienced by people with disabilities. It has plans to build capability and support systems, prevent harm and promote quality, and respond if things go wrong. The NDIS has the potential to assist but to date, the NDIS is proving to be a missed opportunity. The community visitor scheme will continue to exist for the time being.

Australia needs new mechanisms to stop the abuse of people with disabilities! We need both a new national watchdog and a royal commission to put pressure on the NDIS to live up to the principles in its legislation.

A royal commission was recommended following the 2015 Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into abuse and neglect of people with a disability in institutional settings. The committee saw this as the tip of the iceberg, and a national system for reporting and investigating abuse was recommended. However, the federal government’s recent rejection of a royal commission on the basis that the NDIS will protect people with disability is erroneous. The NDIS does not have rigorous mechanisms for protecting its participants, let alone the many vulnerable people with disability who will not be eligible for the NDIS.

The complaints procedures outlined in the NDIS Safeguarding Framework are necessary but not sufficient to stop the abuse that we know occurs. Ensuring all registered providers have an internal complaints system will not stop abuse, nor will links to universal protections outside the NDIS, such as police, other regulatory and complaints systems.

In South Australia, the Dignity Party has taken the lead on this issue, providing the impetus for the Disability Justice Plan https://dignityparty.org.au/?s=disability+justice+plan. This plan led to numerous amendments to dinosaur legislation by the Attorney General.  For example, allowing people with cognitive impairment to give evidence to courts in more supportive ways, which it is hoped will result in increased rates of conviction for abusers. Such laws should be adopted nationally, and the federal government must establish a new national, independent, statutory protection watchdog; it is needed as disability services move to a national model under the NDIS.

Rick Neagle
President, Dignity Party
0431 704 074