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March 1 A day of mourning for our disabled dead

March 1 is becoming internationally recognised as a day for the disabled community to mourn our dead who have been murdered by members of their own family. The Disability Clothesline is taking part in a trans-Tasman electronic vigil. We are compiling a list of all the deaths we know about in the public domain. We will update this page as we go. Spread the word and join our vigil Disability Killings vigil-Trans Tasman Day of Mourning


February 2016

A big thank you to Toah-Nnest and Women's Refuge

Thanks to our friends at these great organisations for helping us out with finding storage space for our precious T shirts, supporters' sheets and creative equipment. Another, practical, way to spread the word.


June 2014

A Round table, travel to China and more.

The trip to China took place in April. For a variety of reasons Robyn couln't go so Wendi went instead, making an important contribution to the work from a disability persepective.

Robyn has been a member of a kaitiaki group established by the Human Rights Commission to look at historic abuse in state run and state funded institutions, which of course includes disabled people, people with experience of mental distress and people with learning disabilities, among others. This culminated in a round table including a range of interested people and organisations. Wendi and Robyn both attended. We will update you with the outcomes.

We have been consulted during the early stages of developing a sexual violence strategy by the Ministry of Social Development. Wendi has been involved with preliminary consultation which will lead to a discussion paper.

A reminder that this week is Elder Abuse Week. Many older disabled people are disabled, and we are hearing about their abuse in the media nad elsewhere. Not good enough.

Check out the lively discussion on our Facebook page, and the updates to our resources. If you know of any resources we have not included let us know.


February 2014

Awards, a welcome and an invitation!

Happy New Year. We're a bit late with this news, but although Robyn didn't win the People's Choice Attitude Award she did win the Making a Difference award and the Supreme award! Congratulations Robyn!

We also welcome Wendi home from Australia where she has been working on disability issues, including violence towards disabled women. She will have a lot to share.

Robyn has been invited by UNESCO to be part of an experts roundtable in Beijing working on domestic violence issues, including disability.


November 2013

Tee shirts on TV!

Our tee shirts appeared on Attitude TV Sunday programme! They appeared with Robyn Hunt who is a finalist in the 2013 Atttitude Awards in the Making a Difference category. You can view the programme with all the finalists and vote for Robyn in the People's Choice category. Good luck!


Aug 2013

What's coming up

Sadly abuse is still in the news. We post links to media stories on our Facebook page.

Meanwhile we will have a pressence on a panel at the Imagining the Solution: National Tauiwi and Bicultural Sexual Violence Prevention Hui - 9 & 10 Sep 2013. Robyn will be speaking on a panel in the Intersectionality stream on Power and sexual violence. Registration is now closed, but Robyn will publish her notes on her blog follwing the conference.

Check out the latest updates on our resources page.


July 2013

Abuse is in the news!

Several high profile cases of abuse have been in the news recently. An Insight documentary on Radio New Zealand has focused media attention. A new report, The Hidden Abuse of Disabled People Residing in the Community has provided some well researched evidence. But will anything change? We await with interest to see what the recently established government review panel will recommend. It is important to keep the issue of violence towards and abuse of disabled people in all settings in the public eye. Otherwise nothing will change


March 2013

New Year new challenges!

This year we have some new opportunities for displays and workshops. Watch this space for more details. We are always looking for new venues for displays and workshops. Your organisation's conference or meeting might provide opportunities for you and for us. Contact us for more information.

Sadly our seed finding is runnng out so we are searching far and wide for more. Any supporters with good ideas or available funding do contact us.


February 2013

Join the discussion

Join us to discuss and share information on disability violence and abuse on Facebook


March 2011

Disability clothesline "inspiring"

"Your web site is great! very inspiring." said Susan Rose, from the Global Clothesline Project when she visited Wellington earlier this year to talk about the work of the Clothesline Project in the USA. She was very interested to learn that the Disability Clothesline is the only Clothesline project in New Zealand.

The disability Clothesline in in the database of the Global clothesline Project, and is the only disability project of its kind that we know of anywhere.


January 2011

Disabled people face high risk of sex abuse

A leading domestic violence researcher says studies indicate up to half of all women with disabilities will be subjected to physical or sexual abuse, the Sunday News reports.


January 2011

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone has had a restful break. We look forward to new workshops and activities in 2011 so watch this space. We also have some more tees which will be up soon. remember you can send us tee shirts telling your stories of violence and abuse towards you as a disabled person. You don't have to wait for a workshop, although of course we can help you organise those too. Explore this site or Contact us for more information.

White Ribbon Day

Today, November 25th, is White Ribbon Day. As we remember the 29 miners lost at the Pike River mine this week we should also support men who pledge to stop violence against women.

Disabled women experience violence from disabled and non-disabled men.

Disabled women and girls experience violence in the same way other women and girls experience it.

Violence towards disabled women and girls is a serious issue and deserves serious attention and visibility. We deserve the same protection and support as other women and girls.

New tee shirts

There are new tee shirts on the line.Take a look.

We are always interested in hearing from people who want to contribute tees and other items to the clothesline, and from groups who would like to hold workshops.

Contact us also if you know of useful resources as we are gathering them for a new page on the site.

Two successful workshops

Wendi says “The workshop we held in Christchurch was just wonderful. Disabled people did some tee shirts that will be a great addition to the clothesline, and disabled and non-disabled supporters alike signed the sheet. We had both sheets there, with one hanging on display and another on a trestle table to sign. The idea was proposed that when we get enough tee shirts we can hang them in Cathedral Square in a triangle between the cathedral, the chalice and the John Robert Godley Statue. That sounds so good. Need a few more tees yet though.”

“We held another workshop in Hamilton that was held in conjunction with a People First Book and Video Launch. Bronwyn Hayward led it. Like the Christchurch event it was great and energising. People are responding well at these workshops and doing some really cool tee shirts. Thanks to all who put up their creativity in tee shirts and sheet-signing.”

We need more tee shirts, and more supporters. Want to run a workshop? Want to know more? Contact us

Celebrating a life

Artist, activist, friend and one of our staunchest Clothesline supporters passed away last month. Wendy Randall was well known for her beautiful textile work, her paintings and her penguins with attitude.

She was also known to disabled people as a friend and supporter, and a campaigner for justice for others as well as herself. Even near the end of her life when she was very ill she still worked to improve services for other disabled people.

Wendy believed so strongly in the importance of this project that she asked that we display our tee shirts at her funeral, which we did. Her death notice invited disabled people to decorate and send a tee shirt to us.

We celebrate her life and mourn her loss

Supporters signing up

Supporters of the Disability Clothesline project are signing our sheets. Our first supporters sheet is hanging on the line.

As well as signatures from people supporting the project there is a braille message which says "It's not OK."

Contact us to add your supporting signature and/or message.

Positive media coverage of Clothesline launch

We were pleased with the positive media coverage we received from the launch, and the supportive speech made by the Associate Minister for Disability, the Hon Pansy Wong, The Hon Pansy Wong's speech

there was also a great photograph and a strong story in the Dominion Post

Wendi was interviewed on Access Radio then scroll down to the We Recommend heading

Tee shirts at Te Papa

Come and join us at Te Papa to celebrate the International Day of Disabled People on Saturday December 5th. We will be there with the clothesline and will be speaking about the project at 2 10 pm. See you there!

Violence against disabled people is never OK

Tomorrow, White Ribbon Day sees the launch of New Zealand’s first Disability Clothesline, a visible statement of the ‘silent epidemic’ of abuse and violence against disabled people in New Zealand.

Pansy Wong, Associate Minister of Disability Issues, will launch the Disability Clothesline project at 10.30 am at the national office of NNSVS, Wellington. The project is a clothesline strung with t-shirts that showcase messages by and about disabled people who have been hurt, or in some cases murdered.

The Disability Clothesline will be launched on 25 November to complement the White Ribbon Day message that violence against women is not OK.

Disability Clothesline Project co-coordinator Wendi Wicks says “It’s time these issues came out from the shadows.

“Disabled people are New Zealand’s largest minority, and we’re subject to abuse and violence at shockingly high levels, which is poorly acknowledged. This project is about raising awareness of the issues and taking action to show that violence and abuse is never OK.”

Co-coordinator Robyn Hunt points to the origins of the Disability Clothesline in an innovative partnership between disabled peoples’ organisations and organisations working in the mainstream of family violence services.

“The Disability Clothesline will showcase the tee shirts disabled people have decorated with their stories of abuse and violence."

“We can finally focus on the ways abuse and violence affects disabled people in a clear, direct, visible way,” she said.

Workshops get the ball rolling

Two successful workshops have resulted in the creation of some powerful stories of violence and abuse experienced by disabled people.

Those courageous disabled leaders enjoyed a friendly, fun and supportive atmosphere which resulted in not only beautiful creations telling moving stories, but some personal resolution for people. One person said that she felt lighter and could almost forgive her father for his violence towards his family.

We challenge disability leaders, and particularly disabled men, to tell their stories of violence and abuse, and contribute to the project.

Our thanks to Vincents Art Workshop for their support

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