Today is the International Day for People with a Disability. It is the ninth day of the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. It is alarming to know that nearly one in five women have a disability, and women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence. Research shows that women with disabilities experience violence over longer periods of time, in more settings, from a greater range of offenders, who commit a greater range of offences. For example, when a carer is the offender, they can perpetrate physical, sexual, financial and spiritual violence at home and in an institutional setting.
Women with disability have improved access to violence information and support with the launch of a ground-breaking smartphone app. Sunny is a new app developed by 1800RESPECT, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and an expert advisory group of women with disability. Sunny helps women with disability learn about violence, learn about rights, and contact 1800RESPECT for support. Sunny supports women with disability to take action by calling a 1800RESPECT counsellor directly or via the National Relay Service or National Translation and Interpretation service. Sunny can also help users to call 000 if they are in immediate danger.