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People with Disability Australia
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PWDA Alert
  Friday 5 June 2015
Dear ,
Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability occurs at horrific rates in Australia but it’s an issue that is all too often kept behind closed doors. 

It is a shameful blight on our society and urgent action must be taken to deliver justice for people with disability and protect their human rights from being violated any further.

Unacceptable statistics
  • 90% of Australian women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse;
  • More than 70% of women with disability have been victims of violent sexual encounters at some time in their lives;
  • Women with disability are 40% more likely to be the victims of domestic violence than women without disability;
  • People with intellectual disability are 10 times more likely to have experienced violence than people without disability;
  • 18% of people with disability report being victims of physical or threatened violence compared to 10% without disability.
MAGE: A wire fence with sunshine and trees behind it. Over the top of the fence there is a dark shadow with white text on it that says Let's end the silence on violence.
IMAGE: A wire fence with sunshine and trees behind it. Over the top of the fence there is a dark shadow with white text on it that says Let's end the silence on violence.
PWDA has been working with a number of other organisations and individuals over a long period to campaign for a National Inquiry into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings.
National response required

The Australian Senate’s decision earlier this year to launch an Inquiry into these issues is welcome. We hope that this inquiry will help shine a spotlight on the crimes committed against people with disability, often in their homes, and often by those paid to provide their supports.

Already, the inquiry has heard evidence of people with disability being tortured, raped, bashed and denied access to justice by institutions that are meant to support and protect them.

While these stories are confronting and traumatic, it is important they are shared so the wider community is made aware of the shocking way people with disability are being treated

Greater awareness of the issue must lead to greater prevention, access to justice and protection of, and for, people with disability.

Let the Senate know

We are currently finalising a submission to the Inquiry with Women With Disabilities Australia, the National Ethnic Disability Alliance and First Peoples Disability Network Australia. Once the submission is made public you will able to view it online.

For the first time, the Inquiry has also made Easy English information available to people who need help making a submission or further information about the Inquiry.  

You can download an Easy English Word Guide to the inquiry here or download an Easy English Word Guide to making a submission here.

You can download an Easy English PDF Guide to the Inquiry here or download an Easy English PDF Guide to making a submission here.

If you would like to share your story with the Inquiry you can make a submission yourself online, by email or in writing.

The Inquiry is also happy to consider submissions made in other ways, so give them a call on 02 6277 3515, or email if you might need to make a submission by phone or video.

Submissions close on Monday 29 June, though the Inquiry is willing to be flexible so get in contact with them if you need more time.

For full details on how to make contact with the Inquiry please click one of the links to the guides we've provided or visit the Inquiry website

Western Australia hotline

If you live in Western Australia, you can call a confidential reporting hotline on 13 June to report abuse and find out where to get help. 

Hosted by People With disabilities WA, along with partnering agency Developmental Disability WA, the free hotline will allow people to report violence, abuse and neglect in a safe and confidential environment.

The hotline will be open from 9am to 6pm on Saturday 13 June. To reach it, call 1800 193 331. 

For more information you can visit the WA Disability Abuse Inquiry website

Links to additional information

More details about the Inquiry and campaign for action – PWDA website 
Confidential hotline lets callers ‘dob in’ cases of abuse and neglect – ABC News
People with disability raped, beaten and neglected while in care – ABC News
Sexual abuse and torture of people with disability rampant – WA Today

If you need support

Tell Someone – Website providing information to people affected by family violence
1800 Respect – Call 1800 737 732 for counselling, information and support 24/7
Lifeline Australia – Call 131 114 for crisis support and telephone counselling 
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline – Call 1800 880 052 to report abuse or neglect
If you want to receive these emails as text-only with no graphics or images at all, please email or call on one of the numbers listed below and speak to the Communications Manager.
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) (02) 9370 3100 1800 422 015