The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of people with disability

“For too long, these acts of violence and abuse, particularly where they occur in support services, have been referred to merely as “incidents” to be covered up and kept out of the public gaze” – Patsie Frawley

The Australian Government has announced a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, neglect, and Exploitation of people with disability. The long awaited investigation will hopefully shed some light and end in policy change to prevent violence and abuse against people with disability. In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that 43% of people with disability aged between 18-24 years have experiences sexual abuse. This stat needs to change.

Patsie Frawley has been a front runner for the advocacy of this commission, which began when she was involved in open letter to the Australian Government in 2017 demanding long due change.

Aside from enabling stronger understanding of the problem, a Royal Commission would also enable justice for people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect. We strongly urge the Australian Government to establish a Royal Commission into Violence Against People with Disability.

Almost 2 years on, the Australian Government completed public survey to draft the Terms of Reference for the commission which gave the Australian public a chance to tell the government that they should be particularly looking into. The terms of reference provided a guide to where, what and how much evidence the commission will gather. The Royal Commission has now started public and private hearings.

It is important that the outcomes of the commission are underpinned by the United States Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. You might know this as the UNCRPD. Many countries over the globe are signatories in this convention, meaning the world in these countries is guided by what’s written in the articles. The UNCRPD was developed by a comitee of people with disabilities from all over the world. It explores how the rights of people with disability to be safe from violence and abuse are the same as anyone else.

Remember that stat at the start of this article? Hopefully we can change that from the outcomes of this royal commission.

To learn more about the commission, you can read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald or this one in The Conversation hear Patsie on the radio here.

Forr some people, this time can be overwhelming. There’s help if you need it. If you or someone around you needs help, call 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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