Women with disability experience violence at significantly higher rates, more frequently, for longer, in more ways and by more perpetrators compared to women and girls without disability, according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
They are 40 per cent more likely than women without disabilities to be the victims of domestic violence and more than 70 per cent of women with disabilities have been victims of violent sexual encounters at some time in their lives.
Michael Wright has been working tirelessly behind the scenes raising awareness about the prevalence of violence against women with a disability.
“I am a White Ribbon Ambassador and am really passionate about this cause,” Michael said.
“Violence against women with disability is something that isn’t really spoken about, yet every female with a disability will likely experience some sort of violence against them in their lifetime.
“That’s the reason why we’ve been putting on events to raise awareness about the issue and to get people talking about it.”
As a person living with a disability himself, Michael was shocked when he learned about the frequency of violence against disabled women.
“When I started working with Outlook and learned about the violence it changed my views so much.
“Violence against women living with a disability can come in all forms and in more ways than just physical violence. It can be carers withholding money, refusing to let them out of the house and just generally restricting their lives.
“It made me realise that I can’t sit back, I have to get out there and change it. The current culture is not acceptable.”
Michael’s particular focus is on how everyone can play a part using their own unique gifts and the role they can play as a local community member.
“We are all unique in our own way and have our own skills to bring to the table. For example, I’m an IT guy so I like to make videos and use my computer skills creatively.
“We all have our own bit of expertise and skills we can use to our advantage.”
Michael was invited to the Together We Can summit last year as a representative of Outlook.
“Together We Can is amazing because it brings all different organisations and people together.”