Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in Australia
The Disability Royal Commission released a research report titled ‘Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability in Australia’ prepared by our researchers from the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health.
The report looks at data on the extent and nature of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in Australia. It looks at the limitations and gaps in current Australian data and research, and it makes recommendations to fill these key data gaps.
Key statistics in the report include:
- People with disability are more likely to experience all types of violence than people without disability. For example, since the age of 15, 65% of people with disability report physical violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, emotional abuse and/or stalking by any perpetrator compared to 45% of people without disability.
- Regarding gender, women with disability are twice as likely to report sexual violence in the last year than women without disability (32% compared to 16% of women without disability).
- Regarding young people, 25% of young people with disability report violence in the last year compared to 11% of those aged 45-65 with disability.
- Regarding impairment type, in the last year, people with cognitive and psychological impairments report higher rates of all types of violence compared to people with other types of impairments.
Understanding key gaps
The report finds gaps in current data and research, including:
- different definitions of disability and violence
- limits on the way data is collected, eg data may not be collected from a person with disability if that person needs help from another person
- not all data are collected are accessible.
Options for improving data and information
If we want to respond better to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability we need to have high quality, consistent, reliable information.
Recommendations in the report include:
- Make better use of the data we already have. This means doing more analysis of publicly available data from things like surveys.
- Analyse data that is not publicly available and make the results available to people or organisations like the Disability Royal Commission who can influence policy change.
- Work out how to better link different data sets so all data is integrated across the states and country.
- Improve surveys and data collections, for example, make sure all datasets that collect information on violence also record disability data.
- Investigate better ways to better represent people with disability in key national surveys, for example have guidelines about appropriate ways of collecting data from people with disability with respect to safety, consent and the use of technology for communication.
Download the Research Report below. For more information on the research, contact Dr Georgina Sutherland: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Georgina Sutherland, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Professor Anne Kavanagh, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney
Dr Sean Byars, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Ms Lauren Krnjacki, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Ms Anne-Marie Bollier, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Ms Jen Hargrave, Women with disabilities Victoria and University of Melbourne
Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) and Melbourne Disability Institute
Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
Sutherland G, Krnjacki L, Hargrave J, Kavanagh A & Llewellyn G. Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability in Australia - Research Report. Sydney: Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Expoloitation and Neglect of People with Disability, March 2021.
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