New Discussion List Addressing Domestic Violence Against Women with Disabilities and who are deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Amy Schwartz-Wallace January 01, 2005

Approximately 54 million Americans live with a disability and research to date suggests that women with disabilities experience domestic violence, abuse, sexual assault and stalking at rates higher than or similar to non-disabled women.

Although domestic violence service providers are in the best position to evaluate and address a survivor’s safety needs, often a program’s relative inexperience with or misinformation about disability issues can limit their ability to effectively outreach to women with disabilities in their community or provide comprehensive and appropriate supportive services.  Alternatively, disability-related service providers that work exclusively with women with disabilities do not routinely screen for abuse and, when confronted with a consumer with domestic violence concerns, may not understand how to safely respond to the crisis or where to send their clients for support.

In 2004, the Empire Justice Center partnered with the Center For Disability Rights (http://www.rochestercdr.org/) and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://www.nyscadv.org/) to work collaboratively on a grant funded under the federal Violence Against Women Act.  With these funds, our collaboration seeks to reduce or eliminate the physical, programmatic and attitudinal barriers that hinder women with disabilities’ access to and utilization of essential crisis and support services in New York.  This exciting and unique initiative allows our three organizations to draw upon our relative expertise to help create an informed, educated, and inter-connected community of domestic violence advocates and disability-related service providers in New York State who provide services to women with disabilities who are abused.

One tool that will build this bridge is a dedicated discussion list for practitioners statewide.  With the generous support and assistance of the Western New York Law Center, we are pleased to announce the formation of the DV-Disability Online Discussion List.

DV-Disability Online Discussion List is a discussion group that allows New York State domestic violence program advocates, disability-related service organizations, and Deaf service providers the opportunity to exchange ideas and information, raise questions, network, and share resources and successes throughout the state on the topic of domestic violence experienced by women with disabilities or who are Deaf.  The grant partners will also use this list to coordinate training and outreach activities, as well as the provision of technical assistance.

Discussion group membership is limited to domestic violence programs, disability-related service organizations, and Deaf service providers.  New members are encouraged to join and all applicants will be screened to determine if they qualify for membership.  The grant partners will serve as administrators and monitors of this discussion group.

Members should be aware that this discussion group is not confidential and postings to the listserv will be received by a diverse group of service provider members across the state.  Postings to the discussion list will not constitute legal advice or services.  Upon admission to the discussion group, members will receive further listserv guidelines.

To join this discussion, go to: http://service.wnylc.com/email.signup/email.signup.cgi

This list is not open to individuals or consumers seeking domestic violence or disability-related services or assistance.  If you need help, contact the New York State 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline at:

English: 1-800-942-6906
Spanish: 1-800-942-6908
English TTY: 1-800-818-0656
Spanish TTY: 1-800-780-7660

For more information about this grant Collaboration or for training or technical assistance, please contact the Empire Justice Center’s Amy Schwartz at 1-800-724-0490 or aschwartz@empirejustice.org