The Australian Disability and Violence Data Compendium

This compendium was produced to inform submissions to the Royal Commission into
Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

To understand the extent and magnitude of the problem of violence and abuse of people with disability, we need high-quality, representative longitudinal data on the extent, nature, causes, impacts, prevalence and incidence of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. However, there is currently no comprehensive strategy or framework that would allow sufficient, reliable and enduring capture of these data in Australia.

The first step is to identify existing data assets that can be used for immediate research to inform policy and to reveal data gaps to inform future data collection or augmentation strategies.

The Australian Disability and Violence Data Compendium was produced as part of a Disability and Health Unit project titled Violence against people with disabilities: maximising the use of data to inform the Royal Commission. It aims to:

comprehensively describe and compare national and state/territory datasets that include both disability and violence data;

  • identify data that is readily available for research and other potentially valuable sources of data that are currently not accessible but may help fill knowledge gaps through future research;
  • demonstrate how these datasets have (if at all) been used for research in this area;
  • indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each dataset, including limitations in the data due to how it is collected;
  • examine whether there is potential to improve datasets using data linkage.

Improving access to these data for research will enable up-to-date estimates of the prevalences of violence and abuse among people with disability, a better understanding of these issues with respect to various forms of violence and types and severity of disability, and identification of key factors (e.g. socio-demographic and spatial differences) that influence these patterns.

Improving knowledge in these areas is critical for reducing violence and abuse directed at people with disability.

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Dr Sean Byars