Saturday, 17 August 2013

STOP THE ABUSE: peak disability body calls for more to be done

This media release from Craig Wallace and People With Disability Australia (PWDA):

11 August 2013

Stop the Abuse
ELECTION 2013 POLICY - SIX WAYS TO STEM THE TIDE

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has called for a coordinated national effort to stamp out violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability and improve access to the justice system.

PWDA President Craig Wallace said, “Over the weekend our national social media forum tapped into people who had experienced rough justice, violence, abuse and neglect.”

“People like Marlon Noble experience rough justice and indefinite detention without conviction, yet authorities frequently do not investigate and prosecute violence and abuse against us. In 2011, a quarter of rape cases were against women with disability who are often restricted from using sexual assault and domestic violence services.” 

“Australian law allows for non-therapeutic sterilisation of children with disability and sterilisation of adults with disability without consent. There is no national framework on medieval seclusion, chemical, mechanical or physical restraint of people with disability.”

“1950s housing models like boarding houses, institutions and some group homes create havens for abusers, while moving people away from ways to contribute to community under DisabilityCare.

“Watchdogs like the Victorian Public Advocate report that abuse is rising and in some cases double what it was two years ago. Unless we act now, the next Royal Commission and apology will be about abuse and disability. We need a unified plan to turn the tide and I am today releasing PWDA’s election policy with six key planks combining prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership,” said Mr Wallace.

Stop wasteful funding of institutions – Museums of misery and havens for abusers.
Implement early prevention measures aimed at ending violence and abuse.
Establish an independent, statutory, national protection mechanism with teeth. 
Develop a national framework to clamp down on restrictive practices. 
Fund mainstream anti-violence services like shelters to step up.
End non-therapeutic sterilisation of children with disability and adults with disability without full and informed consent.


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