Why a Royal Commission into Disability is required.
For many years now, disability advocates have longed called for a Royal Commission Inquiry into the Violence, Abuse and Neglect against people with disability. And rightly so.
There is nothing more spine chilling than learning about the violent death or abuse of a fellow peer living with disability.
Many people living with disability right now, will be experiencing a range of violence and abuse such as sexual, physical, mental/emotional, economic assault. They will be experiencing bullying, harassment. Locked up, overpowered, unable to express their opinions, their choices, express the abuse being perpetrated against them.
Some will die unnecessarily at the hands of others. It's harrowing.
As a nation, we need to ask ourselves - why and how can we stop this? A Royal Commission into Disability must hear from those who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect to better understand the depth and breadth of abuse against people with disability.
I suspect it will sicken and shock Australians.
On Thursday 14 February 2019, Senator Jordan Steele-John presented a motion to support a Royal Commission into Disability. You are able to read the Hansard script here. It is very powerful.
On Saturday, 16 February 2019 I took the opportunity to attend a function the Prime Minister Scott Morrison was attending in Launceston, Tasmania. He very kindly stopped to listen to me and take with him, notes I put together about why we need a Royal Commission.
"...the cultural attitudes of de-valuing people living with disability needs to be exposed through a Royal Commission..."
These notes were adapted from Chapter 8, of the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee report - 'Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability.'. See link to the 2015 Senate report here.
A Royal Commission Inquiry into Disability I suggest, would at least, do the following:
As I write this piece, some of my fellow disability advocate peers are in Canberra, ACT to advocate for the Royal Commission in Disability. They have flown all over the country to do so. I am with them in spirit.
More so, I think of those living with disability I know personally who have lost their lives to violence, abuse and neglect. I think of those living with disability who are trying to recover from violent acts and abuse made against them. A Royal Commission into Disability is for you and for changing our culture in the way our society views, treats and values us as people living with disability.
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline (the Hotline) 1800 880 052 is for reporting abuse or neglect of people with disability.