Article Text

Download PDFPDF

33 Hearing the voice of disabled people. Developing better services of domestic violence
  1. Sisko Piippo1,
  2. Birgitta Huisman-Laine2
  1. 1University of Eastern Finland, VIOLA Free From Violence, Saumuri Project, Finland
  2. 2VIOLA Free From Violence, Saumuri Project, Finland


Background The New Social Welfare Act in Finland highlights citizens’ equal access to the services, as well as municipalities’ responsibility to collect users’ experiences from service system and organise specialised services for victims of domestic violence.

Description of the problem As a marginal group, particularly people with disability are very vulnerable. They position is weak in the service system in getting help as a victim of domestic violence. Also, domestic violence is an untold problem in their own communities. Accordingly, the work with them includes its own special features and sensitivity. In their own NGOs, the wider visibility and understanding of domestic violence is needed. It is also essential, that their voice will be heard when developing national, regional and local structures for better public services for the victims of domestic violence.

Results As an example of innovative development work, ?Saumuri project (from third sector) collaborated with VÄISTÖ project (from public sector). In addition to the VIOLA Free From Violence, five pilot NGOs of disabled people were involved to the development work.

Service users were involved to the designing, educating and evaluating of collaboration with public sector.

A permanent, regional, networked structure of excellence of domestic violence, with the models of collaboration in the area of South Savo was established. Structure is coordinated by both public and third sector including also group of service users (Experts by Experience).

Conclusions Permanent, visible structures are needed in ?several levels. Both inter- and intra-organisational forms of collaboration and knowledge exchange should be modelled. Raising awareness of violence, structured forms of asking about violence (routine inquiries modified according to the needs of organisations, e.g.) and simple care pathways are needed in NGOs as well as in public sector. This will promote also professionals openness towards user knowledge.

  • Disabled people
  • domestic violence
  • public services
  • service user involvement

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.