Women, disability and violence: Creating access to justice

Project Summary

“Women, disability and violence: creating access to justice” will investigate the experiences of women with disability in relation to violence and subsequent access to justice. While it is recognised that women with disability are vulnerable to high rates of violence, there is an on-going need to gather systematic data about women’s experiences of violence in order to enhance prevention and response. This project aims to give primacy to the voices and knowledge of women with disability in order to better understand their experiences of violence, especially sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and pathways and barriers to accessing support and justice responses to such violence. 

This is an 18-month qualitative project involving a literature review, focus groups with fifty women and 12 stakeholder interviews with service providers and enforcement officers. In partnership with People With Disability Australia, findings from the research will produce grounded research outcomes for women with disability and advocacy and support organisations. The findings will inform the development of a targeted workshop (delivered in person and on-line) focused on enhancing service and enforcement responses to disclosures of violence by women with disability. 


Principal Chief Investigator:

Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher, Centre for Women’s Studies & Gender Research, Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University

Chief Investigators: 

Dr Claire Spivakovsky, Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Monash University 

Professor Jude McCulloch, Criminology, School of Social Sciences Monash University

Dr Jessica Cadwallader, People with Disability Australia 

Estimated End Date:

This project commenced in June 2016. 



$230,000 (approx.)