Media releases

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) welcomes Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s commitment today to hold a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect experienced by people with disability.

AFDO now calls on the Turnbull Government to match Labor’s commitment and establish a Royal Commission immediately.

The CEO of AFDO, Ross Joyce, said today that the violence and abuse commonly experienced by people with disability could no longer be ignored – the time had come to act.

“The kinds of stories we have seen recently in the media are sadly nothing new to people with disability, their families, advocates and people who work in the sector,” he said.

“But the stories are not known to the Australian public. They remain our national hidden shame. What we need to do now is bring those stories to light – and then commit ourselves to doing whatever we can to make sure it never happens again.”

A 2015 Senate Committee Inquiry heard detailed evidence of violence and abuse of people with disability, particularly in institutional and residential settings. The inquiry recommended a Royal Commission conduct a more thorough investigation.

“We hope a Royal Commission will bring the extent of the problem to light. That is an important first step. But – more importantly – national action needs to be taken by government, by providers and by the community. Systemic changes need to be made now so that Australians with disability are safe from violence, abuse and neglect.”

For more information please contact Mr Ross Joyce on 0402 842 040. 

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