15 December 2020

Disability Royal Commission

What you need to know and how to find help

TW: Mentions of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. Mentions of anxiety, depression and suicide.

 

Disability Royal Commission

 

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (The Disability Royal Commission) is a current investigation into widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of people with disability. This Royal Commission was established in April 2019 and has been ongoing ever since. The aim of the Disability Royal Commission is to prevent people with disability from being in these harmful situations in the future, creating a way to standardise the reporting and investigation into these instances in the future, and working towards a more inclusive society.

 

To investigate this, the Disability Royal Commission holds a series of public hearings across Australia to hear from people with disability, as well as their family and support workers, about their own experiences of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation of people with disability. These public hearings aim to hear from people across the sector, with dedicated hearings typically lasting a week. The final public hearings for 2020 were held on December 15 and 16, with the next hearings set to be held from February 16 to 25 2021. The final public hearing is scheduled to be held December 19, 2021. You can find out more about the public hearing schedule on the Disability Royal Commission website.

 

During these public hearings, there may be discussion of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in the media and online. For people with disability, their families and support workers this may be distressing, particularly to someone who has lived through these experiences.

 

In light of this, we’ve put together a list of resources to help people with disability, their family and support workers to cope with some of the things they are seeing and hearing in the news and online during this time.

Where do I go to find help?

There are a number of resources you can access for free if you, or someone you know, is feeling stressed due to the coverage of the Disability Royal Commission. If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 directly.

Mental health and crisis support help lines:

  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636.
    Beyond Blue provides free support for people with depression and anxiety with trained mental health professionals.
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
    Kids Helpline provides free telephone counselling for young persons aged 5 to 25.
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14.
    Lifeline provides free tele-services for people experiencing emotional distress including crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Counselling resources for people directly affected by the Disability Royal Commission:

  • National Counselling and Referral Service: 1800 421 468.
    This service can provide counselling support or help you to connect with a nearby counsellor. This service is available from 9am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm weekends and public holidays. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment, please call the National Relay Service (NRS): 133 677.
  • Blue Knot Foundation: 1800 421 466 or 02 6146 1468.
    Blue Knot Foundation helps to provide support, education and resources for adult survivors of complex trauma and their families and communities.
  • Relationships Australia Victoria: 1800 317 387.
    Relationships Australia Victoria provides support for people with disability who are affected by the Disability Royal Commission, as well as those who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Advocacy resources for people directly affected by the Disability Royal Commission:

  • National Counselling and Referral Service: 1800 421 468.
    This service can help you to connect with a nearby advocate. This service is available from 9am to 6pm weekdays and 9am to 5pm weekends and public holidays. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment, please call the National Relay Service (NRS): 133 677.
  • Villamanta: 1800 014 111.
    Villamanta helps people with disability in Victoria understand and use the law to ensure they have their rights. Villamanta specialises in helping people with an intellectual disability.
  • Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities (ADEC): 1800 626 078
    ADEC Helps to provide advocacy and supports to people with disability from ethnic backgrounds.

 

You can find the full list for Support Services for People with Disability on the Department of Social Service’s website. Culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people with disability can be found by calling the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.

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