Royal Commission into institutional abuse is overdue

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

Down Syndrome Australia welcomes the motion passed in the Senate on 14 February 2019 to establish a Royal Commission into institutional abuse of people with a disability.

Down Syndrome Australia, along with many other organisations in the disability sector, has long supported the establishment of a Royal Commission.

A Royal Commission will provide a comprehensive, independent review into repeated issues of abuse. It will enable people with a disability to tell their stories and will provide justice for victims. It would also make important recommendations on reform, policy, and practices to address issues of abuse.

Many people in the disability sector have long advocated for a Royal Commission.

A 2015 Senate Inquiry into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings that found that abuse against people with a disability was ‘epidemic’ and recommended a Royal Commission.

Recent media reports have provided further evidence of the problems occurring in some residential settings.

Down Syndrome Australia CEO Dr Ellen Skladzien said: “We urge the Government to support a Royal Commission. For too long violence and abuse against people with a disability has been overlooked.”