Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities
Tuesday, April 19th, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Room 301B
Abuse of women and girls with disabilities creates a significant barrier to independent living and full integration into the community. Abuse and mistreatment is defined as any unwanted, hurtful, dangerous, neglectful, frightening, insulting, oppressive, or demeaning behavior directed at a person or persons with disabilities. It can include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or financial mistreatment, including theft, violation of privacy or autonomy, and crime, including hate crimes.
Caution is advised when citing the prevalence of violence against women with disabilities. Violence issues, such as prevalence, risk factors, and interventions, vary to such a high degree across disability types (sensory, physical, psycho-social, cognitive), that it is very difficult to generalize statistics to the population of women with disabilities as a whole. We know that women with disabilities report a larger number of perpetrators, with the most common being intimate partners, followed by family members, and the duration of the abuse was longer-lasting. They were also more likely to experience abuse by attendants, strangers, and health care providers. Compared to women without disabilities, women with disabilities were more likely to report more intense experiences of abuse, including the combination of multiple incidents, multiple perpetrators, and longer duration.
This intensive training is designed for service providers who serve persons with disabilities generally and those engaged primarily in providing services to the general population of women who experience sexual, gender-based and other forms of violence and abuse, as well as women with disabilities.
This training will explore various elements of violence and abuse against women and girls with disabilities including:
- Philosophy—“Nothing About Us Without Us” ensuring that women and girls with disabilities are involved in development and implementation of all programs
- Data on abuse and violence against women with disabilities
- Understanding the types of abuse
- Dialog on what contributes to abuse?
- Strategies for a disability-inclusive program that assists, supports and empowers women who experience violence
- Exploration of comprehensive empowerment and self-protection tools directed to disabled women and girls living independently.
- Tips for women and girls with disabilities to Reduce Abuse
- How to Help Someone Being Abused
The workshop will be highly interactive and will be conducted by three experts on the topic including Stephanie Ortoleva, Marsha Saxton and Heidi Case. The workshop will partly draw on the CAPE (Curriculum on Abuse Prevention and Empowerment). CAPE strives to educate people with disabilities, service providers, and family members about abuse awareness and prevention strategies.
CAPE explores fundamental issues of abuse, best-practices training approaches, and personal stories of resisting and recovering from abuse. CAPE focuses particularly on preventing abuse by anyone in a “helping role,” including informal or paid assistants, family members, and services providers.
CAPE uniquely focuses on peer support in abuse prevention and utilizes a multimedia formats, such as movies, quizzes, learning games, comic-book images, and stories by and about people with disabilities. (The CAPE curriculum is complemented by a companion book, Sticks and Stones: Disabled People’s Stories of Abuse, Defiance and Resilience, which includes 50 stories from diverse writers and a training guide.)
CAPE is available in English and Spanish and soon to be available in Mandarin, and is captioned, and accessible to screen readers.
Marsha Saxton, Ph.D. teaches Disability Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and works as a principal investigator at the World Institute on Disability, in Berkeley, CA. Saxton has presented in the last three years in Australia, Japan, Britain, Finland, Qatar, Canada, and the U.S. Saxton was the 2008 recipient of the Irving Kenneth Zola Memorial Lecture award. In July of 2003, Saxton was interviewed on 60 Minutes about Wrongful Birth law suits. In May of 1998, Saxton was a guest on Talk of the Nation with Ray Suarez, addressing issues of reproductive technologies¸ and the disability community’s view of selective abortion. She has published three books, two films, and over one hundred articles and book chapters about disability rights, abuse and violence prevention, Personal Assistance, women's health, and genetic screening issues. She has been a board member of the Our Bodies, Ourselves Collective, and served on the Council for Responsible Genetics, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ethical, Legal Social Implications (ELSI) Working Group of the Human Genome Initiative.
Heidi Case is a disability rights advocate and activist. She is the current Co-Chair of the National Organization for Women’s Disability Rights Task Force and was a co-author of a paper on the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities for the Center on Women’s Policy Studies (forthcoming in Spring 2011.) She is currently working on a U.S. Department of Justice grant from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). The project trains staff of sexual and domestic violence agencies about the particular needs of women with disabilities, and to disability service entities on how to provide trauma informed care to their disabled female clients who were victims of violence, holding training with both types of entities jointly to foster communication and collaboration. Ms. Case also is the Moderator of the 50+ lesbian rights group a part of SAGE “Services and Advocacy for Gay and Lesbian Elders.” Through a grant from The Office of Early Childhood Education, Ms. Case trained and provided on-site consultation to encourage licensed childcare facilities to include children with disabilities in their programs. Ms. Case also speaks Spanish and Sign Language and has a B.A. in Special education from the University of Arizona. She is married with three adopted foster children.
Stephanie Ortoleva is an attorney with expertise in international human rights law and U.S. civil rights law. She is not only a woman with a disability herself who is a renowned advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and for women, but also has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, including the United Nations and Organization of American States systems. At the leading international law firm, BlueLaw International, LLP, she serves as the Senior Human Rights Legal Advisor, where she focuses on disability rights, women’s rights, rule of law issues, and human rights education, with concentrations on human rights programming in developing, transition and post-conflict countries. She also addresses democracy and governance work on the promotion of human rights, particularly for marginalized populations and their representative organizations. Ms. Ortoleva also is an Associate of the American University Center for Global Peace.
Previously, Ms. Ortoleva served as an Attorney and Human Rights Officer at the U.S. Department of State, where she also held the position as the Department’s Disability Coordinator, to incorporate disability rights issues into the Department’s work and participated in the negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, serving on the United States governmental delegation. As a Department expert on women’s rights, she advanced women’s rights at the UN, successfully promoting women’s property rights, advocating for the expansion and implementation of UN Resolutions on women’s role in peace building and for the establishment of a “Gender Entity” in the UN. She was the grants officer for several Department projects in the Middle East and North Africa. She was given the prestigious U.S. Department of State Franklin Award in 2009 for her outstanding work on human rights matters and was the featured Department employee for women’s history month in 2009.
Additionally, Ms. Ortoleva has extensive research, fieldwork and program implementation experience throughout Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, including in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, as well as in Mexico and Panama, among others.
Ms. Ortoleva is currently engaged in research and advocacy on the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and employment programs internationally and on sexual and gender-based violence. Publications include, The Forgotten Peace Builders: Women with Disabilities, Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Spring 2011; Inaccessible Justice: Persons with Disabilities and the Legal System, International Law Society of America, Journal of International and Comparative Law, Spring 2011; a Chapter in “Lawyers, Lead On”, American Bar Association Publishing, March 2011; With her colleague Marc Brenman, Women’s Issues in Transportation, in Running on Empty: Transport, Social Exclusion and Environment Justice, Policy Press, 2004, among others. She developed the Web site www.forgottenpeacebuilders.org to bring attention to issues concerning women with disabilities in post-conflict situations. Ms. Ortoleva also has developed human rights education training for advocates and governments and drafted publications and reports and conducted seminars for the United Nations, governments and universities and has extensive media experience, both as a media advocate and as a radio program host and producer, receiving the highest Arbitron ratings on the station.
Ms. Ortoleva is the founder and Co-Chair of the American Society for International Law’s International Disability Rights Interest Group. She graduated from Hofstra University School of Law with outstanding honors and is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
How to Register
Download the brochure to find out more information. If you are only attending the workshop, download the Registration Form and include payment. Email or mail completed forms to: Charmaine Crockett, Center on Disability Studies, UH-Manoa, 1776 University Avenue, UA4-6, Honolulu, HI, 96822.
If you have paid your conference Fees, please send in the Registration Form and put, ‘Conference Registration Paid’ in the Payment Section.