广东时时彩软件:Human rights report calls for new approach to tackle violence against people with disabilities
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When Nicole Lee's husband was removed from her home after she disclosed a decade of abuse to hospital staff following a suicide attempt, it took her eight weeks to get a shower.
"I had a 10-year, very violent relationship with my ex-husband who was also my disability carer," Ms Lee said.
"That day when the police decided to put an intervention order on him and remove him from the house, I was sent home on my own without anyone considering how I was going to cope."
Almost two months later and feeling lost with who to turn to for support, Ms Lee said she approached child protection services to help lift the intervention order, inviting her husband to re-enter her home.
"I cannot survive — I'm not surviving. I haven't had a shower in eight weeks," she told them.
"I'm struggling to get my kids to school. I need help."
After making that phone call, Ms Lee said she was approached by many services who were able to help her with care.
But she says help should've come much earlier.
"It's funny considering we have so many different support services involved in our lives ... yet turn a blind eye to what they see is going on.
"The people on the front line that are in my house were the ones that were seeing an undertone of what's going on ... but they didn't feel it was their response to do anything.
"They need to be trained and they need to be given safe and supported options of where to go to take their concerns of abuse where they're not going to lose their job."
A future without violence
Ms Lee's call for better training and integration within the disability sector is echoed in a new report released this week by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which calls for a new approach in tackling violence against those with disabilities in institutional settings.
Federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin said the report, titled A Future Without Violence, was an important attempt to stop the violence that impacted millions of Australians.
"Because it's behind closed doors, it means that often people with disabilities can't know how to make a report," Mr McEwin told ABC Radio Sydney's Wendy Harmer and James O'Loghlin.
"[And] because police don't know how to communicate with them appropriately, we find that those issues go unreported or are not pursued within the justice system."
Mr McEwin said abuse occurred across the country in hospitals, prisons, out-of-home care and education settings, many of which made it difficult for victims to file a report.
"We have about 4.3 million people with a disability in Australia, and a very high percentage of people with a disability experience violence," he said.
And while he said clear statistics were difficult to quantify, it was an issue that needed attention.
"For example, we know that by the time they're 18, women with intellectual disabilities, up to 90 per cent of them have experienced some form of violence against them, so it's a very significant issue."
The report, which was a year in the making, draws on evidence collected from government, disabled people's organisations, disability advocacy organisations, industry and academia.
It calls for oversight, service integration and better accessibility for people with a disability.
"Everyone, including police, nurses and other support workers, we just need to take a little bit more time to sit down with them and try and understand what they're trying to say," Mr McEwin said.
"There needs to be more training ... it's really critical they understand that disability is diverse.
"People with a disability are not second-class citizens, they are not people to be ignored, and if they have an act of violence committed against them, why are we treating them differently?"
Mr McEwin said many victims still did not know who to approach when seeking help or disclosing abuse, especially under streamlined services offered by the NDIS.
"There has been a coordinated approach, however there's still a lot of uncertainty, so many people are unsure of where to go now," he said.
"We had the new NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, however they will only represent those who are directly on the NDIS and the service providers.
"We will be seeing many thousands of people who won't have an NDIS package; where do they go?"
Ms Lee said aside from training disability workers, advice also needed to be distributed to help people with a disability find which services to approach for help.
"You can't just walk out the door when you rely on this person for your basic daily human needs," she said.
"We're not told that there are other alternatives.
"We're put in positions constantly by the system that makes us vulnerable, not because we chose to be vulnerable, but the system is making us vulnerable."
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline on 1800 880 052.