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Hotline data released – hundreds report abuse of people with disability in government-funded services

Michael Smith – Front Page Report – August 13th, 2018

The Australian Government has released the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline data.

There were 472 reported cases of abuse and neglect of people with disability in government-funded services between July 2016 and June 2018 – more than one every two days.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan did not put out a media statement announcing the release of the data.

He has refused to answer a number of questions about it.

Front Page Report asked him if the cases were investigated and if, where appropriate, action was taken to ensure people are safe and justice is served. He did not answer.

The government is releasing the data after a Senate inquiry found that the data “is not being made available to the community”.

The inquiry committee said it was concerned that “many more cases remain unreported, partly as a result of inadequate responses to reporting”.

The published data says the hotline is “designed to aid reporting of abuse and neglect of people with disability in Commonwealth, State and Territory funded disability services”.

The reported types of alleged abuse and neglect include physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, financial abuse, emotional neglect, wilful neglect, constraint abuse and systematic abuse.

Government information says abuse and neglect may include:

  • “punching, hitting, slapping, burning”
  • “forcing someone to take part in sexual activity against their will”
  • “threatening, harassing or intimidating a person”
  • “restraining or isolating a person”
  • “wrongful use of another’s assets”
  • “failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing and protection”
  • “failure to provide the necessities of life”
  • “wilfully denying a person assistance”
  • “restricting social, intellectual and emotional growth or well-being”.

The people with disability ranged in age from under 16 to over 54.

The majority of cases involved people with physical disability, psychiatric disability, intellectual disability, autism and/or neurological disability.

There were also people with “vision impairment”, “speech” disability, “learning disability”, “hearing disability” and/or “ABI” (acquired brain injury). The information says some people may have more than one disability.

The data shows there were:

  • 91 reported cases in the six months to 31 December 2016
  • 148 in the six months to 30 June 2017
  • 101 in the six months to 31 December 2017
  • 132 in the six months to 30 June 2018.

There were 17 cases of alleged “constrain abuse”.

There were 79 reports of alleged “systematic abuse”.

Nine cases involved children under 16.

Click on link for remainder of story  – http://frontpagereport.com.au/abuse-hotline-data-released/