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The Disables People's Organisations Australia say that people with disability experience far higher rates of violence than the rest of the community. Even according to the Department of Social Services' own National Abuse and Neglect Hotline, 891 cases were sighted over two years, with systematic abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse and neglect being highest reported.
This is unacceptable.
This week we saw Scott Morrison and his government block the Parliament's attempts to show support for a Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with disability. These are the same people who tried to block the Royal Commission into the banks, which uncovered shocking evidence of misconduct, are now trying to stop this. When will they learn?
The severity of this problem calls for nothing short of a Royal Commission. The abuse of Australians with disability by those who are meant to care for them warrants the weight, authority and power of a Royal Commission to properly examine the horrific accounts of violence.
The systems we have in place to protect vulnerable people are structurally flawed. Our safeguards have failed, our legal system has failed and so has our government.
We cannot let this abuse be swept under the rug. The accounts of abuse and neglect are sickening, and it reflects on all of us as a nation. We are defined as a country by how we treat out most vulnerable, and we simply cannot allow this to continue any longer.