The Australian Government has released the Draft Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
People of short stature may experience; violence, abuse, and or all of the above during our lives. This includes being mocked, photographed and filmed on mobile phones, having abusive and derogatory names yelled out from passing cars and being bullied by peers at school or within the community.
As we go about our daily lives we encounter this type of behavior on a regular basis.
The Royal Commission will help to ensure our rights are protected and inform government on how to improve the safety and treatment of all people with disability, no matter where we live in Australia.
The government is calling for feedback on the draft terms of reference, by 28th March 2019. Please note, this feedback is for the terms of reference only.
The Royal Commission itself, including an announcement of the commissioners and details of how to make a submission will follow after the terms of reference have been finalised.
A summary of the draft terms of reference is as follows:
The draft Terms of Reference give The Royal Commission the scope to consider:
- All forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
- In all settings, but with a particular focus on what governments, institutions and the community should do to prevent and respond.
Areas of focus
- What governments, institutions and the community should do to prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- What governments, institutions and the community should do to encourage reporting and effective responses to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.
- What should be done to promote a more inclusive society, which supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The draft Terms of Reference suggests the inquiry and recommendations would consider:
- All aspects of quality and safety of services, including informal supports, provided by governments, institutions and the community to people with disability.
- That people with disability have specific needs, priorities and perspectives based on their personal circumstances. This might include their age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, intersex status or race, and acknowledges the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.
- The critical role families, carers, advocates, the workforce and others play in providing care and support to people with disability.
- Examples of good practice and innovative models of preventing and/or responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.
- The findings and recommendations of previous relevant reports and inquiries.
The full version of the terms of reference and how to provide feedback is available at: https://engage.dss.gov.au/royal-commission-into-violence-abuse-neglect-and-exploitation-of-people-with-disability/
Feedback on the terms of reference can be given through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LSXH77X
Support to participate
The public consultation on the draft terms of reference for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability seeks feedback on issues that may be confronting and distressing. Sometimes words can cause sadness or distress, or trigger traumatic memories for people, particularly people who have experienced past abuse or trauma.
For some people, these responses can be overwhelming. If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call 000 or contact Police.
If you or a family member need immediate help or counselling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
Trauma Counselling- 1800RESPECT
Phone 1800 737 732
If you would like to talk to a domestic and family violence trauma counsellor, call 1800RESPECT, Australia’s national domestic and family violence and sexual assault support service. All counselling sessions are one-on-one over the phone and available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The counsellor is there to listen, believe you and offer support, no matter what stage of your journey you are at.
Assistance with the survey
If you need help to complete the survey, contact the Survey Hotline on 1800 880 052 Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm AEST
People with disability, their families and carers can also get support from National Disability Advocacy Program advocates. The Disability Advocate Finder is at https://disabilityadvocacyfinder.dss.gov.au