Solace Statement: Disability Discrimination Act and VAWG.

It’s been 25 years since the Disability Discrimination Act became law, but the campaign for equality goes on.

Solace is committed to the struggle to ending disability discrimination and upholding the Disability Discrimination Act, working to ensure all our services and work is inclusive and accessible to all women including women with disabilities.

Solace acknowledges that women with disabilities are at increased risk of experiencing domestic abuse, gender based abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG). Women with disabilities continue to face the intersection of sexism, misogyny, ableism, racism, class and economic stigma and discrimination. We also acknowledge women with disabilities are disproportionately living in poverty facing increased hunger and destitution due to disability discrimination and cuts to the welfare system.

Solace is committed to delivering a response to VAWG working with women with disabilities and in particular with women with learning difficulties. We are committed to ensuing we are an inclusive workplace and representative.

Solace’s Silver project worked with over 120 older women, aged 55 and above, affected by domestic and sexual violence. The project demonstrated that women felt safer, healthier, less isolated and more confident as a result of their engagement with the project. 60% of the women came from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, 49% of women were registered disabled; and the average age of the women participating in Solace’s work  was 67 years of age (with the oldest being 101).


  • According to government data, published in 2014, there are over 11 million people with a limiting or long-term illness, impairment or disability 1.
  • The most commonly reported impairments are those that affect mobility, lifting or carrying 2. The prevalence of disability raises with age.
  • Around 6% of children are disabled, compared to 16% of working age adults and 45% of adults over State Pension age 
  • A substantially higher proportion of individuals who live in families with disabled members live in poverty, compared to individuals who live in families where no one is disabled.
  • 19% of individuals in families with at least one disabled member live in relative income poverty, on a before housing costs basis, compared to 15% of individuals in families with no disabled member. 
  • 21% of children in families with at least one disabled member are in poverty, a significantly higher proportion than the 16% of children in families with no disabled member.
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