Disability and Domestic Violence: Protecting Survivors

P Harpur, H Douglas, 'Disability and Domestic Violence: Protecting Survivors' Human Rights (Special Issue: Disability at the Peripheries)' (2015) 23 (3) Griffith Law Review 405-433

Posted: 14 Apr 2016

See all articles by Paul Harpur

Paul Harpur

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: April 14, 2015

Abstract

Survivors with disabilities experience domestic violence both more often and differently to those who do not have a disability. The presence of impairment substantially transforms the medical, psychological, environmental, economic, legal and political factors which contribute to the occurrence of violence. Survivors of domestic violence are often highly dependent on their abuser, fear disclosing abuse and lack economic independence, and these issues may be heightened for a person who also has a disability. Domestic violence is amplified by the existence of impairment when law enforcement and medical bodies construct the survivor and their relationship with the perpetrator through an oppressive disability model. Advances in theory and international disability human rights laws may provide new and powerful avenues to critique how law and practice in Australia responds to disability domestic violence. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is the first human rights convention to specifically protect survivors with disabilities from domestic violence. In this article, we use critical disability studies and the CRPD to identify limitations with Australia's responses to disability domestic violence.

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Harpur, Paul David and Douglas, Heather, Disability and Domestic Violence: Protecting Survivors (April 14, 2015). P Harpur, H Douglas, 'Disability and Domestic Violence: Protecting Survivors' Human Rights (Special Issue: Disability at the Peripheries)' (2015) 23 (3) Griffith Law Review 405-433. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764681

Paul David Harpur (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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