The information below is about The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the Royal Commission). Reading this information may be distressing to you. If at any time you would like to talk to a professional with experience in trauma counselling, please contact the free and confidential counselling services we have listed in our Counselling Services pages.
The Royal Commission is investigating violence against and abuse of people with disabilities
The Royal Commission is investigating violence against and the abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in all contexts and settings. For example, if you experienced abuse in your home (that might be your family home, or living in a group home, or in out-of-home care), at school or work, in prison or in a hospital, the Commissioners want to hear your stories and experiences.
The Royal Commission wants to understand why people with disability continue to experience high levels of abuse. And why the numerous recommendations made by the many inquiries and reports over the years have not improved the lives of people with disability.
The Royal Commission will last four years until September 2023. In its final report it will make recommendations on how best to:
- prevent and protect people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
- report, investigate and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
- promote a more inclusive society that supports people with disability to be independent and live free of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The Royal Commission is gathering information through doing its own research, holding public hearings, meeting people with disability in private sessions, and taking submissions from people with disability and their carers. A submission is your story, told by you.
You can make a submission to the Royal Commission
A submission is treated like evidence and can be anonymous or public, it’s up to you. If you would like your submission to be private, the Royal Commission will protect your identity and keep the information you share confidential. You can make a submission in a language that suits you, including indigenous languages and Auslan. The Royal Commission has interpreters available.
There are many ways you can tell your story to the Royal Commission. You can:
- tell your story to an ADACAS advocate who will write it down and submit it for you
- ring the Royal Commission on 1800 517 199 and give your submission over the phone
- download a submission form and email it to the Royal Commission
- apply to speak at a public hearing
- meet with a Commissioner in a private session if you made a request for a meeting before 30 June 2022.
The Royal Commission needs to receive your submission before 31 December 2022 to have what you say counted in their statistics and included in their final report.
There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about making a submission to the Royal Commission. This includes getting legal advice before you make your submission. You can find information about free legal services on our Royal Commission Legal Services page. We have answered some frequently asked questions and explained some of the words that the commission uses on our frequently asked questions page.
Make a referral for ADACAS to help you or someone you know with a submission
ADACAS can support Canberra and South Coast region residents to make a submission to the Royal Commission. We welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who wish to make a submission and are happy to accommodate requests for an Aboriginal member of our team to provide this support.
We use a trauma informed approach to make sure you will feel safe to tell your story. You can contact us by either ringing or emailing us, or make a self-referral using the link below. After you have contacted us, our Royal Commission Team will contact you by telephone and arrange to meet with you either in our office or another place you choose.
The Royal Commission's public hearings
The Royal Commission started holding public hearings in November 2019 to gather evidence about violence, neglect, abuse, and exploitation of people with disability. You can read the transcripts or watch a webcast of past hearings on the Royal Commission’s website.
Future hearings will be streamed live on the Royal Commission website and be recorded for later viewing. These hearings will have live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters. You can learn more about the schedule of future hearings on their website.