In November 2015, the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee released its Report into the Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability. The Committee made a headline recommendation for a Royal Commission into Violence Against People with Disability.

In March 2017, The Federal Government ruled out a Royal Commission in its response to the Senate Inquiry. This decision has been heavily criticized by disability groups, including Disabled People’s Organisation Australia (DPO Australia).

As a group of academics invested in issues of social justice, we stand with DPO Australia and other disability groups on this issue. Like DPO Australia, we call on the Federal Government to reconsider its recent refusal to conduct a Royal Commission into Violence Against People with Disability. We believe a Royal Commission is uniquely placed to offer a comprehensive and independent investigation into the extent of violence against people with disability in Australia.

If you would like to be added to our open letter to Prime Minister Turnbull, please contact us.



Dr Claire Spivakovsky, Monash University

Dr Linda Steele, University of Technology Sydney