Policy Submissions: Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings
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JFA Purple Orange made this submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs’ Inquiry on 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 and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability. This submission endorses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and National Disability Strategy 2010-2020.
We recommend the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs, as part of a raft of safeguarding initiatives:
Implement a nationally consistent and contemporary approach to preventing and responding to abuse through a framework such as the Model of Citizenhood Support, which can be used to plan both whole-system measures and individual supports in ways where there is systematic attention to the person’s humanity, value and belonging.
Within this framework, co-design with people living with disability and their families, a coherent, rights-based, multi-faceted system for preventing and responding to abuse, and ensure mechanisms are in place within such a system so that it has authentic powers to take action.
Endorse an Australia-wide zero-tolerance approach to violence against, and the abuse and neglect of, people living with disability, such as is identified in the National Disability Services Zero Tolerance Initiative.
Strengthen the language in the National Standards for Disability Services to endorse a zero-tolerance approach.
Explore pathways to contemporary housing models which enable individuals to have greater connection to the community; consequently improving the natural safeguards which come with authentic connection, and reducing the risk of violence, abuse and neglect.
Consider the SA Disability Justice Plan as a possible blueprint to be implemented across all Australian jurisdictions to:
Uphold, protect and promote the rights of people living with disability
Support vulnerable victims and witnesses in the giving of evidence
Support people living with disability accused or convicted of a crime
Continuously monitor and improve performance.
Endorse the strategies from the 2013 National Symposium on Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities as a matter of urgency, to develop capacity building or peer support programs for women living with disability in institutions, and ratify Commonwealth/State/Territory legislation to recognise all forms of violence against women and girls perpetrated in all settings, including institutional and congregate care settings.
Consider implementing a national mandatory system for reporting abuse of people living with certain types of disability, as one element in a comprehensive range of measures.