Paralympic gold medalist Matt Levy sheds light on the challenges of domestic violence for people with a disability

This week, nine-time Paralympic medal winner and Order of Australia recipient Matt Levy has lent his voice to domestic violence prevention campaign, We’re Better Than That. 

“Women with a disability are almost twice as likely to experience domestic violence than women without a disability.” Matt explains against the backdrop of Mahon Pool in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. 

“Everyone deserves dignity, autonomy, safety and respect: it is a human right to be free of violence.” 

The video campaign, funded by the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN and created in partnership with the Hope Believe Shine Foundation and Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra and Bayside Councils, promote respect and healthy relationship strategies, and encourage men to be active bystanders when they witness behaviour that contributes to domestic violence. 

Matt describes some of the unique forms of abuse perpetrated against people with a disability, including financial, emotional and social abuse. He encourages everyone to play their part to curb the prevalence of domestic violence.

President of People with Disability Australia board, Samantha Connor, commends Matt Levy on his involvement in the campaign, “Matt’s advocacy is a powerful step in continuing the crucial conversation around domestic violence in our community.” 

Matt is the seventh male influencer to join the conversation. The first series of We’re Better Than That featured influencers such as My Kitchen Rules star Colin Fassnidge and Bondi lifeguard Bruce “Hoppo” Hopkins, and gained over 120k views. 

The second series launched during Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with Drag Race Down Under contestant Maxi Shield, and will conclude next week with young Neighbours actor Benny Turland. 

The videos are available to view on the We’re Better Than That YouTube channel and Facebook page.

For Matt empowerment lives at the heart of his message, “Having a disability I want to feel as though I’m independent and can stand on my own two feet.” 

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, help is available. You can call NSW DV Line on 1800 65 64 63 or the Men’s Referral service on 1300 766 491. 

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