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Update on the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (VANE) of People with Disability (DRC) has begun Public Hearing 11, focussing on the experiences of VANE of people with disability, particularly people with cognitive impairment, in their interactions with the criminal justice system and the consequences which follow.

In March the DRC released a Research Report exploring the nature and extent of violence and abuse against people with disability in Australia. Despite abuse and violence affecting people from all areas of our community, this report highlights data showing that, unfortunately, people with disability experience violence and abuse at significantly higher rates, in particular young people and women with disability, as well as people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities.

Some statistics outlined in the report are highlighted below. It is important to note that this data is based on people aged 18-64.

Figure 1: Prevalence of physical violence since age 15 by disability status and gender

People with disability are at 1.8 times the risk of physical violence in comparison to people without disability.

Figure 2: Prevalence of sexual violence since age 15 by disability status and gender

Since the age of 15, double the amount of people with disability report experiencing sexual violence compared to people without disability.

  • While all women are at higher risk of sexual violence than men, women with disability are twice as likely to report an incident of sexual violence over their lifetime as women without disability (33% compared to 16%)
  • People with disability experience higher rates of emotional abuse than their counterparts without disability (since the age of 15, 1 in 3 women with disability report emotional abuse by a current or previous partner)
  • People with disability who report living in financial hardship are 3 times as likely to experience violence than people without disability who report no financial hardship

Figure 3: Prevalence of all violence in the last 12 months by impairment type

 

In addition to the data presented, the Research Report focuses on answering questions including the limitations and gaps within this data, and options and recommendations to fill these gaps. The full Research Report can be found by clicking on the following link: https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au/news-and-media/media-releases/people-disability-face-much-greater-risk-violence-people-without-disability

We feel it’s important to share these statistics with you in the hope that it will raise discussion and awareness for this significant issue. Baptist Care SA takes the matter of violence against anyone in our community seriously and works hard to understand, prevent and respond to abuse and mitigate risk wherever possible. Baptist Care SA have several committees and working groups focusing on continuous quality improvement and are always looking for ways to improve our organisation and address issues such as these. We have committed to the Zero Tolerance Framework and expect all staff to provide services in line with the NDIS Code of Conduct. For further information on the NDIS Code of Conduct click on the following link: https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/ndis-code-conduct

The DRC continue to explore violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (VANE) of people with disability across various platforms within our society and will, despite asking for an extension, release their final recommendations in April 2022, to help Australia address the gaps and decrease instances of VANE against people with disability.

If you would like any further information or to discuss this data or the DRC in general, please feel free to contact Chelsea Arnold on 8273 7100 or [email protected].

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