Royal Commission resources help further understanding of abuse
- The Royal Commission has released new information about abuse of people with disability.
- This builds on a range of useful information released in 2016.
- The Royal Commission's work aligns with NDS's Zero Tolerance Initiative.
- Members can engage with the Zero Tolerance resources on the NDS website.
The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has released a research report, Disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts,which suggests that up to 14 per cent of children with disability are likely to experience sexual abuse. Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said that the research, prepared by the University of Sydney Centre for Disability Research and Policy, “introduces new material on the extent of sexual violence against children with disability and what might be required to better protect children with disability from abuse in institutions in the future.”
2016 saw the Royal Commission release a number of research and issues papers relevant to the current discussions about a quality and safeguard system to underpin the National Disability Insurance Scheme. These include:
- Creating Child Safe Institutions - A policy document outlining ten inter-related elements that contribute to making organisations safer for children who use them. Informed by a research study by UNSW Social Policy Research Centre and the Parenting Research Centre, the elements align strongly with the human rights approach set out in NDS’s Zero Tolerance initiative
- Feeling Safe, Being Safe - A report by the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University on what is important about safety to children and young people with disability and high support needs
- A consultation paper on best practice when responding to complaints, including suggested best practice principles. Read the submissions to Best practice principles in responding to complaints of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (including the response by NDS) here.
- A consultation paper regarding criminal justice issues exploring “the contemporary response of the criminal justice system to institutional child sexual abuse and to identify ways it can be made more effective.”
- A consultation paper on records and recordkeeping practices which highlights how “management of accurate records by institutions that care for children is critical to identifying, preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.”
The Royal Commission has also published written submissions related to the public hearing into disability service providers, held in Sydney in July 2016. NDS gave evidence at the hearing alongside survivors of abuse and their families, disability organisations, a researcher, the National Disability Insurance Agency, and the Department of Social Services.
NDS will continue to monitor the Royal Commission’s work for ways to strengthen safeguarding approaches for children with disability and implications for adults with disability at risk of harm.
Members are reminded of the range of free practical human rights safeguarding resources available as part of NDS’s Zero Tolerance initiative. To access these resources or for further information, visit the NDS website.