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Understanding Abuse

Understanding abuse is about recognising abuse as a violation of a person's human rights. A focus on what makes life good for each person is the best way to enable rights and minimise the risk of abuse. It is also about knowing what signs to be aware of that abuse is happening or has taken place.

Resource Library

Understanding Power and Control

These two films and accompanying guide will assist your team’s understanding of punitive restrictions and that these approaches are never acceptable.

The films look at the impact on the person’s health and wellbeing and help start conversations about how to do things differently.

Use the films and guide in different ways.

  • work through the films on your own,
  • with your team; or
  • if you are a supervisor – in supervision and training.

These films and guide will assist to build your team’s understanding of power and control and to identify how people can be supported in different ways.

Understanding Power and Control Guide

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Human Rights and You - Online Human Rights Training

Human Rights and You is a national video-based e-learning program for disability support workers, families and practitioners about why human rights matter when supporting people with disability.

This short and interactive program takes around 30-minutes to complete.

Human Rights and You explores values, strategies and examples relating to the four modules:

  • What are human rights?
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • When rights go wrong
  • Asking for help

There are two options for accessing the Human Rights and You e-learning program

  1. Individual access: Free via registration on the Learner Management System which includes a Completion Certificate
  2. Organisation access: $760 plus GST to purchase the NDS Zero Tolerance suite of tools and resources to host on your own Learner Management System

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‘Understanding Abuse’ e-learning program

zero toleranceUnderstanding abuse is about recognising abuse as a violation of a person's human rights. A focus on what makes life good for each person is the best way to enable rights and minimise risk of abuse. It is also about knowing what signs to be aware of that abuse is happening or has taken place.

‘Understanding Abuse’ is a free, 30-minute video-based e-learning program for disability support workers.

There are two options for accessing the Understanding Abuse e-learning modules

  1. Individual access: Free via registration on the Learner Management System which includes a Completion Certificate
  2. Organisation access: $760 plus GST to purchase the NDS Zero Tolerance suite of tools and resources to host on your own Learner Management System

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‘Understanding Abuse’ Learning Bites - workbooks and guide

The ‘Understanding Abuse’ Learning Bites are 3-5 minute videos addressing eight life areas. They can be used to promote discussion and personal reflection by support workers. Each Learning Bite has a printable worksheet to be completed and signed off by the supervisor.

“I really benefited from the videos, and being able to hear what others saw in the scenarios.”

Downloadable worksheets

These easy-to-use worksheets promote reflection, team discussion and action through simple personal and team exercises.

Includes checklists to help support workers to recognise instances of good, poor and abusive practice, and to take action.

Guide for Supervisors

Provides useful information for supervisors to use ‘Understanding Abuse’ with staff. Offers additional training information, scenarios and links to other relevant training and resources.

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‘Empowerment Circle’ diagram

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The Empowerment Circle can be used to help you think about how people can be more empowered in all areas of their lives, and to recognise poor or neglectful practice, abuse and crime.

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Links to other useful resources:

National Disability Services would like to acknowledge the funding from the Victorian Government which allowed these resources to be developed.

Victoria State Government

Contact information

For any enquiries on Zero Tolerance, please contact: Mary Lou McPherson, National Practice Lead - Zero Tolerance Initiative, (03) 8341 4300, submit enquiry/feedback

© National Disability Services (NDS) 2022 applies to NDS Zero Tolerance logo, Zero Tolerance Framework and The Empowerment Circle.

Copyright permissions
NDS grants permission for users to copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with Zero Tolerance resources for any personal or organisational purpose, on condition that proper acknowledgment is included on all uses. Any use of zero Tolerance resources for commercial gain is strictly prohibited.