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17 Feb
Issue Paper summary: Violence and abuse at home pt 1

Issue Paper summary: Violence and abuse at home pt 1

Today we take a look at one of the Disability Royal Commission’s Issue papers on violence of people with disability in a home setting.  

You can make a submission to this paper until the 26th February 2021. Here’s how. 

See versions of the full Issue Paper here. 

Feeling unsafe at home 

Research shows that people with disability feel more unsafe at home than people without disability. They have double the risk of experiencing abuse and violence at home.  

Homes includes private, family, or group homes, specialist accommodation, foster care, boarding hostels or homes, and shelters and refuges. The Royal Commission is looking all forms of violence, neglect, exploitation, and abuse that occur in these settings. This can be from a partner, family member, roommate, carer, or support worker. 

Who’s at risk 

People with disability can experience unique types of violence and abuse. This includes restrictive practices and withholding food, water, and medication.  

You may also be more at risk of certain types of violence if you are: 

  • Female 
  • An elderly person  
  • A young person or child 
  • From a CALD background  
  • A First Nations person 
  • Part of the LGBTIQ+ community 

For example, it’s found that women with disability are likely to experience high levels of violence due to factors like poverty, inequality, and dependency on others. Children with disability living in out-of-home care are at a higher risk of experiencing abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation. 

Government approaches 

A number of national legislations address family violence for women, children, and the elderly. The National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 includes guidelines for keeping people with disability safe from abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation. It is currently under review. 

The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission is also available to support people with disability with the NDIS supports they receive. 

Each state has its own policies and laws when it comes to domestic and family violence, child protection, disability advocacy, and women’s safety. 

Barriers to receiving support 

It’s found that people with disability can find it hard to receive services or support. This could be from lack of physical access or accessible information or knowledge. They can also experience discrimination or stigma from the person supporting them.  

This is a similar matter in the court of law. People with disability may have a lack of understanding and legal support.  

The combination of disability services with other mainstream mental health and accommodation services may also create a gap in overall care. 

What are your thoughts about violence for people with disability at home? In our next article we discuss some suggested questions and how to make a submission. Find out more about the Royal Commission here. 


To contact the Royal Commission you can email or call 1800 517 199

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