Ending and preventing all forms of violence against people with disability is a core focus of DPO Australia’s work and the work of our four member organisations.
DPO Australia and our members have been calling on successive Australian Governments for many years to call an immediate Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability. DPO Australia firmly believes only a Royal Commission can begin to address the systemic violence, abuse and neglect experienced by people with disability.
In May 2017, DPO Australia co-ordinated a Civil Society statement to the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister, which described the key evidence for why a Royal Commission into violence, abuse and neglect is urgently needed. Access the Civil Society Statement.
The Civil Society statement follows on DPO Australia’s comprehensive submission made to the 2015 Senate Inquiry into Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings.
People with disability experience far higher rates of violence than people without disability. People with disability who also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, female, of a culturally and linguistically diverse background, people living in institutional settings, and people who are incarcerated or in detention are particularly at risk of experiencing myriad and intersectional forms of violence.
Key Facts About Violence Against People with Disability
- 90% of women with intellectual disability have been sexually assaulted in their lives, and 60% before the age of 18;
- children with disability are three times more likely to experience abuse than other children
- in many cases, people with disability experience violence in places where they are meant to be receiving support;
- people with disability can’t always rely on the police for protection against violence;
- people with disability are often treated as ‘unreliable witnesses’, or are not even permitted by law to provide testimony at all.
Our strategic goals in regard to ending all forms of violence include:
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to freedom from all forms of violence and abuse.
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to liberty and security of person, with a specific focus on indefinite detention.
- Undertaking work in the policy priority area of the right of people with disability to live independently and be included in the community, with a specific focus on housing.
- Establishing a research agenda that reflects the needs of people with disability and which supports human rights reforms to disability policy and practice.
We work towards these goals through a range of systemic advocacy mechanisms including work with Australian Governments, United Nations organs and broader civil society.