SUFY Joins the Call for a Royal Commission into Abuse of People with Disability

 SUFY Joins the Call for a Royal Commission into Abuse of People with Disability

Speaking Up For You (SUFY) strongly supports the call for a Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with a disability who reside in specialist Disability Accommodation.

A Royal Commission will investigate and expose the incidents of abuse and neglect experienced by people with a disability along with the shameful system responses that have failed to respond appropriately to this ongoing violence.

SUFY’s Manager Dianne Toohey said “many accounts of violence against people with a disability have been brought to SUFY’s attention. Through our individual advocacy efforts SUFY has found that assault and abuse of people with disability is often ignored or treated in a ‘special manner’ often denying the person justice and continuing to place them in harm’s way. There is little leadership within public institutions to address these issues and put a stop to the abuse.” Read more

“At the end of the day we know that violence against people with a disability in residential settings is prevalent and that this is a crime. It is time for those in authority to take action and do something about it” Ms Toohey said.

“Now is the time for the community to call for action” said Ms Toohey. “A Royal Commission would show people with disability their experiences are important and valued by the wider community. This process would recognise that the system continues to fail people with disability. However, unlike the countless inquiries and reports in the past it must lead to action.”

For example last week those who attended the National Forum “Walk the Talk” the 2010 -2020 National Disability Strategy and our Human Rights Promises, heard from a family member who talked about her sister in law being left on a concrete floor for two hours and a woman who described being beaten by a support worker as a child living in residential care.

The stories of horrific abuse told in Four Corners: Fighting the System are not isolated. In 2015 a Senate Inquiry brought to light the rampant abuse within the disability sector and the shameful history of systemic failure. Despite this the government recently decided against a Royal Commission.

People with disabilities have a right to live free from abuse and harm and to feel safe. They have right to tell their stories and to have them investigated. They have a right to justice and for their perpetrators to be held accountable. They have a right to protection. Their stories must not be forgotten.

Date: 29th March 2017

Dianne Toohey, Manager SUFY

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