• Events, Rights

Addressing gender-based violence against women with disabilities in the European Union

Close-up of a hand with stains of dark purple paint on a grey background. The colour purple represents women's rights.

The RESPONSE project addressing gender-based violence against women with disabilities will host their closing conference.

On 20 February 2024, the RESPONSE project will host its final conference at Mundo b, Rue d'Edimbourg 26, 1050 Ixelles, and online. 

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Gender-based violence against women with disabilities is a pressing issue that demands urgent attention at both the local, national and European levels. It is estimated that around 40 million women with disabilities are vulnerable to various forms of violence in the EU, including physical, psychological, and virtual abuse. Despite this alarming statistic, specialised and mainstream support service providers often struggle to prevent and address gender-based violence against women with disabilities in a person-centered and inclusive manner.

The Erasmus+ RESPONSE project brought together partners from 6 EU countries to address this critical gap by providing awareness raising and capacity building to service providers for persons with disabilities, mainstream services in the health, social care and judicial sectors, and women with disabilities. By enabling the exchange of knowledge between the disability sector and the victims' rights sector, RESPONSE created a collaborative space for joint learning, cooperation, and effective responses to this issue.

With the RESPONSE final conference, we aim to bring together policymakers, experts, professionals, and stakeholders from various sectors to foster dialogue, share best practices, and chart a way forward in addressing gender-based violence against women with disabilities. Throughout the conference, participants will have the opportunity to engage in informative sessions about the RESPONSE project activities and outputs, as well as exchange feedback and dialogue through a networking lunch.


9:30 – 10:00

Registration and welcome coffee

10:00 – 10:05

Opening remarks

  • Thomas Bignal, Secretary General, EASPD

10:05 – 10:15

RESPONSE: A European project to create more gender-responsive and inclusive services for Women with Disabilities

  • Giulia Bergamasco and Tiziana Fantucchio, RESPONSE Project Coordinators, EASPD

10:15 – 10:30

Keynote speech  Empowering voices: Tackling gender-based violence against women with disabilities

  • Sara Rocha, Disability Advocate, Member of the European Disability Forum Women’s Committee

10:30 – 11:45

Panel 1 – Breaking barriers: Exploring the RESPONSE approach to support women with disabilities who are victims of violence

  • Daiva Riliškytė, Service User and Head of Council of Service Users, Jaunuolių dienos centras 
  • Ana Lopes, Shelter House Coordinator, CERCIAG  
  • Carmen Pavòn and Noelia Revuelta, Spanish National Police, Central Unit of Attention to the Family and Women

Kalianne Farren, e-Learning Officer, EASPD

Moderation: Natalia Pérez Fernández, Legal advisor, Plena Inclusión España

11:45 – 12:15

Panel 2 – Charting the path forward: Policy recommendations for addressing gender-based violence against women with disabilities

  • Lesia Radelicki, Member of Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli
  • Helen Portal, Advocacy and Policy Officer, Inclusion Europe
  • Alice Valenza, Project Manager and Trainer, CESIE, SexSense Network

Moderation: Irene Bertana, Senior Policy Officer, EASPD

12:15 – 13:15

Networking Lunch

  • Exhibition of the RESPONSE policy recommendations for combating gender-based violence against women with disabilities


End of the conference