"The Unheard Voice:
Addressing Violence Against Women with Disabilities
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) statewide grantmaking program, New Jersey Initiatives, has awarded a three-year grant to DHS's Division of Disability Services (DDS) for a new training project called "The Unheard Voice: Addressing Violence Against Women with Disabilities."
This project began with a September 2004 statewide conference - the first of its kind in New Jersey and supported in part by DDS - that addressed the issue of domestic violence and abuse against women with disabilities.
As a direct result of that conference, RWJF awarded DDS a small planning grant in May 2005. Through the planning grant, DDS developed and pilot-tested training and educational materials for healthcare providers and for women with disabilities on issues of violence and other abuse.
The current award from RWJF now launches the actual training process.
The first training program is for healthcare agencies that serve women. The training increases agency workers' ability to recognize violence and other abuse perpetrated against women with disabilities. It also offers training for appropriate and sensitive support and services to women with disabilities who experience violence.
A second training program is for the women with disabilities themselves, to give them the skills and knowledge they need to respond to threats of violence in ways that are safe for them and for their children.