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Government must assume responsibility for incidences of violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with a disability: Greens

Tuesday, 13 February

The Government has again refused to commit to a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional settings, after questions today from the Australian Greens calling on them to do so.

Disability Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said last week’s Human Rights Watch report titled “I needed help, instead I was Punished” only added to the seriousness of the findings, and subsequent recommendations, of the 2015 Senate Affairs References Committee which urgently called for a Royal Commission.

“I am absolutely disgusted that this Government continues to do nothing in light of the mounting evidence that people with a disability in institutional and residential care in Australia are subject to violence, sexual abuse and neglect at the hands of their carers, staff and other patients and prisoners.

“The Human Rights Watch report included horrific accounts of people with disabilities being placed with other prisoners in carer roles who were convicted sex offenders, and having to wear nappies 24/7 due to a total lack of accessible facilities.

“Excessive use of solitary confinement as an ‘easy’ way of dealing with prisoners with a disability was another cruel tactic identified in this report and I am frankly astounded the government can so easily brush these revelations aside.

“In light of this report, and given the Senate Affairs References Committee’s 2015 findings and recommendations which have yet to be acted on, it is clear that this government is not fit to look after society’s most vulnerable or worse, simply doesn’t care.

“This government must now assume responsibility for any further incidences of violence, abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with a disability who are in state care. They have been made aware of these atrocities and they are simply choosing to ignore them.”

Media contact:

Tim Oliver - 0448 316 387

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