Public Hearing 17 of the Disability Royal Commission
15 October 2021
On 13 October 2021, Law Council of Australia President, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC gave evidence at a public hearing of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
In her statement to the Royal Commission, Dr Brasch QC explained that people with disability, and women with disability in particular, experience disproportionately high rates of domestic and family violence.
Women with disability experience distinct and particular forms of family violence, including threats and withdrawal of care, medication and other assistance. Women with disability who live in group homes or other shared accommodation, or who rely on carers and others for support, are at particular risk of violence in an intimate setting. However, this type of violence is not always recognised or captured by legislative and policy frameworks as constituting domestic and family violence, given that it may occur beyond the ‘intimate partner’ or ‘family’ relationship.
The capacity for systems and agencies to recognise and respond to this form of violence must be considered, beginning with but not limited to, how domestic and family violence is defined.