MEDIA RELEASE: Action to address the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) is concerned by the personal stories shared and

experiences of people with disability aired on Four Corners last night (Monday 27 March 2017).

The high incidence and the impact of violence, abuse and neglect for people with disability is well documented and well researched. Similarly, research is highlighting the impact of lack of quality support that addresses people’s health care needs. A coordinated and systemic response is needed to address the inadequate care that can contribute to the preventable deaths of people with disability.

QDN Board of Directors, Chairperson, Mr Nigel Webb said, “People with disability have a right to be safe and live a life free from abuse, violence and neglect, especially in their own homes, especially when this is perpetrated by the people who have responsibility and a duty of care to support individuals.”

Mr Webb said, “We know that people with disability, particularly those living in group environment or congregate care are at higher risk of being abused. Our community and our Governments have a responsibility to understand the experiences of people with disability, and provide adequate responses that ensure the safety of people, and that means all parts of the system including service providers, police, and our justice system.”

QDN acknowledges that a national approach to quality and safeguards is being implemented as the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out, however cautions that this needs to be more than a framework, and adequate strategies, resourcing, education and training is needed to ensure people are not more vulnerable within this new system.

Mr Webb said, “This needs to be more than a framework and deliver more than the current responses we have in place. We need a justice system that is responsive to the needs of people with disability and people with different and complex needs. We need a more robust response that keeps people with disability safe in their own homes, and in their communities. Australia needs to do better to protect people with disability from abuse, neglect and violence and the ways in which people access justice and support.”

END: 28 March 2017

Contact: Paige Armstrong, CEO (ph) 3252 8566

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