Unveiling the Overlooked Nexus: Intersections of Abuse and Disability

Please join Destination Accessible and the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre as we bring to light the hidden realities of abuse within the disability community. Our mission is to explore the interconnections between disability and domestic violence, advocating for substantial change for those with disabilities who are facing or have faced such violence.

In our discussions, we will delve into the issues and their interconnections, present data on the prevalence of reported violence across genders and disabilities, and spotlight the difficulties in accessing support. 

Our goal is to amplify the voices of individuals with disabilities who are navigating or have navigated domestic and family violence, ensuring they are heard and acknowledged. 

“Join the movement to reveal the often-ignored overlap between abuse and disability,” says Melonie Sheehan, COO of Destination Accessible.

For over two decades, Destination Accessible has been a cornerstone of support and accommodation in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, starting in the tourism sector and evolving into disability support. In 2013, we inaugurated our first high-level mobility homes, equipped with ceiling hoists, a hoist for a heated swimming pool, and other essential mobility aids.

Annually, we offer adventure and accommodation to over 1,100 participants and their families, supported by a dedicated team of skilled and experienced disability support workers. Our services range from Short Term Accommodation, Assisted Supported Independent Living, Medium Term Accommodation and Crisis Care.

We are honoured to collaborate with the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre in Geelong, enhancing our efforts to provide safe accommodation and support to men, women, and children with disabilities escaping violence.

Violence against men, women, and children with disabilities not only exacerbates their vulnerabilities but also multiplies their challenges. The abuse often transcends physical violence, encompassing emotional, sexual, and financial exploitation, thus severely impacting their autonomy, well-being, and control.

The barriers to accessing support, coupled with the fear of retaliation, can significantly heighten feelings of helplessness among survivors. The convergence of disability and domestic violence underscores the need for targeted and inclusive strategies to cater to their distinct needs and uphold their rights to safety, dignity, and empowerment.

As an award-winning organisation, Destination Accessible is embarking on a transformative journey to better serve our participants and the community at large. For more information about Destination Accessible support and services, please click here.