You can find out more about the Inquiry at this link http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Violence_abuse_neglect
WWDWA Inc spoke at the inquiry here in Perth at the beginning of April. We will also be preparing a written submission. If you would like to have your experiences with violence and abuse heard, you can write your own submission and send it to the Senate. If you are unable to do this and would still like your experiences heard by the Senate, WWDWA Inc is happy to include them in our report in your own words. You don’t have to use your name and your submissions can be as short or as long as you want. Please email email@example.com or call 9244 7463. Submissions are due by the end of June, but we will be asking to have ours due by late August.
25 September 2014
Women With Disabilities WA Inc Joins Other Community Organisations In A Call to Remove Exhibitions that Stigmatise People with Mental Health Issues
Women With Disabilities WA Inc is deeply concerned that the Royal Agricultural Show has two Family and Kid’s Show Attractions that stigmatise people with mental health issues.
“Bethlem” and “Asylum 3D Spinning Horror” both take stereotypes of people with mental health issues as an object of fear and entertainment.
It is estimated that up to 50% of Australians will experience mental health issues at some point in their life time. Stigma is a major problem to people seeking help and experiencing recovery.
According to leading suicide prevention organisation Lifeline, suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. People who are struggling with suicidal feelings are often afraid of seeking help for fear of mistreatment by mental health professionals and institutions.
The exhibitions make light of the dark history of institutional abuse of people with mental health issues and other disabilities. Bethlem actors in the exhibit stereotype consumers as dangerous, unpredictable, physically different from others, while the exhibition encourages consumers to be viewed as a tourist attraction and as an object of fun for the general public.
The Royal Show is Perth’s largest community event and with an estimated 400,000 people children and families viewing these exhibitions will significant undermine stigma reduction efforts in our community.
WWDWA Inc urgently calls on the Royal Agricultural Show and sponsors to:
Immediately close the sideshow exhibitions, and to
Issue an apology to the public for hosting attractions that misrepresent people with mental health issues as an object of fear, humour and entertainment
For more information and media enquiries please contact WWDWA Inc Coordinator Rayna Lamb on 9244 7463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear WWDWA Inc members,
Some of you may have heard about the taxi driver who was recently charged with sexually assaulting women with disabilities who were passengers in his Maxi Taxi. If you haven’t, or don’t know much about what happened, you can read the following links for more information:
Taxi Driver Charged With Sexually Assaulting Disabled Woman
Cabbie Admits To Raping Passengers
An Unlikely Hero
Sexual assault is a very difficult thing to talk about. Especially for women with disabilities. But as hard as it is, we need to talk about it. We need to talk about how it affects us. We need to talk about what could have been done to prevent the assaults, we need to talk about what would make us feel and be safer. Often the solutions that are provided by service providers and the able-bodied community are ones that just make us feel more silenced and vulnerable.
So this is the time for us to speak up, not as individuals, but as a group, as many voices with different experiences, but with the same desire to feel safe in our lives in our community. But we need to talk to each other before we can have an effective voice, for so many of us it is too frightening and overwhelming to do it on our own.
WWDWA Inc Members, how would you like to have this conversation? Would you prefer to have a forum about this, or have a survey you can answer without giving your name, or contact WWDWA Inc privately to give your thoughts and ideas? Or is there some other way you would feel comfortable in telling us your story? What would make you feel safer when travelling by taxi?
Contact us and let us know what you think.
What do you want us to tell government departments, service providers and the community?