We are very pleased that we had such a well attended conference on January 28th in the House of the European Union in Vienna and would like to thank each of you for taking the time and effort to come and participate. Your presence helped to make this event a great success!
As part of a comparative study carried out in four countries (Germany, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Austria), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) has investigated how women with disabilities experience violence and what support they receive in such situations. Women with disabilities who had experienced violence and staff of victim support service organisations have developed a series of recommendations for victim support service organisations as well as policymakers. The study shows how experiences of violence of women with disabilities are often more complex than those of women without disabilities, and also that they generally run a higher risk of experiencing violence. The study is the result of an EU-Project involving four different countries. Research organisations in Austria, Germany, Iceland and the United Kingdom investigated what forms of violence women with disabilities experience and what kind of support would be useful for them. Following the principle: “ Nothing about us without us!” women with disabilities were involved as interview-partners, as researchers and as members of the advisory groups. The study was funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Daphne III programme, and in Austria it was additionally co-funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.
The Federal Minister for Education and Women's Affairs, Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek gave the opening speech for the conference. The main talk was given by Ana Paláez Narváez (member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Director of International Relations at the Spanish National Organisation of the Blind (ONCE)). Our aim was to bring together professionals, activists, policy makers, researchers and the interested public to discuss existing problems with access to support services and to determine solutions, actions and policies to overcome these problems. We certainly hope that you found the talks, discussions and the exchange of experiences and suggestions informative and productive and enjoyed them as much as we did. Let's take the things we have learned back home and continue to work on improvements!
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