Responding to Abuse
Responding to abuse is about being ready to respond appropriately, quickly and effectively to any incidents of abuse, neglect and violence toward people with disability. It is about having clear policy and set actions that organisations are required to take to respond when abuse occurs, including supporting victims and working with authorities.
Responding to Abuse is a set of short films and accompanying guide to help frontline disability workers to think about how to respond quickly and appropriately to abuse, neglect, and violence of people they support.They include an introduction and seven themed films covering:
- Recognising early warning signs
- Being a bystander
- Understanding trauma
- A ‘safety-first’ approach
- Responding to a disclosure
- Preserving evidence
- The role of supervisors and managers
Watch the scenario in each film. Press pause and answer the questions provided. Then watch the second clip to hear what others had to say.
||This short introduction film tells you about the Responding to Abuse films and how you can use them in your organisation|
|Early Warning Signs
||Support worker Hannah recognises that something is not OK for Steve.|
|Being a Bystander||New support worker Jasmine overhears her co-workers talking about Bradley while they are out at a café.|
|Understanding Trauma||Support worker Ange is called in at the last minute to work with Mel.|
|Safety First||Support workers Todd and Joe respond to an incident that happens on the basketball court.|
|Responding to a Disclosure||Support worker Wally responds to a disclosure from Anton.|
|Preserving Evidence||Support worker Bonnie comforts Nina after a sexual assault.|
|The Role of Supervisors||Support worker Billie speaks up when she notices that Jocelyn is not getting the support she needs.|
These films were funded by the NSW Government Industry Development Fund and developed with support from the NSW Ombudsman.
These films include scenes about abuse of people with disability, which some people may find upsetting. Words or images can cause distress or trigger traumatic memories for survivors of abuse, violence or trauma. Please speak with your supervisor if you need to discuss any of the issues covered in these films. You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24-hour telephone crisis support.
Conducting Investigations: A guide for Victorian disability service providers
NDS members and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have highlighted the need for clear, consistent advice on how to conduct an investigation that is person-centred and meets internal and external requirements, including the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES).
The following guide has been developed to assist Victorian disability service providers when conducting investigations into alleged abuse, neglect, and violence toward people with disability, including:
- Guidance on how to conduct thorough internal disciplinary investigation
- Linking with external organisations and the criminal justice system to meet legal and statutory requirements
- Clarity on investigative requirements under the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme (DWES)
Links to additional useful resources:
- Initial and early response to abuse or neglect in disability services resources NSW Ombudsman
- Interagency Guideline for Addressing Violence, Neglect and Abuse (IGUANA) VictorianOffice of the Public Advocate
- Responding to abuse, neglect and exploitation Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
- Investigations: Guidance for Good Practice VictorianDisability Services Commissioner
- Beyond Doubt - the experiences of people with a disability reporting crime Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
- 1800 RESPECT – national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service
- Making rights reality for sexual assault victims with a disability South Eastern CASA (Victoria)
- Responding to Sexual Assault training program People with Disability Australia
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