Abuse & neglect for families

    Overview

    We want children and young people with disability to live in communities where they are happy and safe – where there’s someone looking out for them, they know their neighbours, and they can get on with playing, learning and having fun with family and friends. Sadly, we know that abuse and neglect of children and young people with disability happens in all the places where they live their everyday lives – including in their homes, schools, playgrounds, libraries, swim centres and local shops.

    Children and young people are often considered ‘vulnerable’ to harm because of their age – those with disability particularly so. Simply having a disability doesn’t increase the risk of harm occurring. But the risk is increased by some of the things people with disability commonly experience as a result of having a greater reliance on others for care and support, being socially isolated, and lacking a trusted adult or a way to communicate with someone who can help.

    Please note the information on this webpage may be distressing for some people. A range of free support is available, with links and contact information at the bottom of this page.

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, held between 2012 and 2017, was established in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children in institutional contexts that had been emerging in Australia for many years. Throughout the course of the Royal Commission, commissioners listened to the personal stories of more than 8000 survivors and read more than 1000 written accounts. A total of 4.3 per cent of survivors told the Royal Commission they had disability at the time of the abuse.

    The final report of the Royal Commission made a large number of recommendations in order to prevent child sexual abuse.

    The National Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission

    The National Redress Scheme provides support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. It was established following the findings of the Royal Commission.

    The Scheme:

    • acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian institutions
    • holds institutions accountable for this abuse, and
    • helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a redress payment.

    The Scheme began on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.

    People need to be aged 18 years and over to accept an offer of redress. Children under 18 are eligible to apply for redress if the child turns 18 before the end of the scheme in June 2028.

    The National Redress Scheme can provide three things:

    It is an individual's choice about whether they would like to receive some or all of these components.

    All states and territories and key non-government organisations such as the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches, the Salvation Army, YMCA and Scouts have agreed to join the Scheme.

    For the latest news and updates about the Redress Scheme, please visit its website.

    CYDA support for the National Redress Scheme

    CYDA’s work regarding the National Redress Scheme includes providing information, assistance and referral, and working closely with the operators of the Scheme and other services to ensure that the needs of children and young people with disability are met.

    CYDA provides free and confidential information and assistance regarding application to the National Redress Scheme for children and young people with disability and their families and carers.

    CYDA provides information and assistance to other support services to ensure that children and young people with disability are able to fully engage with the Redress Scheme.

    CYDA can provide:

    • further information about the Redress Scheme
    • information about the application process
    • connections and referrals to other services including counselling, free legal services and financial support services
    • information and advice to other services to make sure that the needs of children and young people with disability are met in the application process.

    Please contact us for more information.

    Counselling and other supports are available

    The material on this section of our website may raise issues for you or someone you know, or bring to mind past experiences and trauma. Children and young people with disability, their family, carers and supporters might need immediate assistance, support or to talk to someone when they are ready to do so. A range of free support services are available.

    If you are in an emergency situation and need immediate support, please contact emergency services by calling 000 (triple zero).

    For other supports, please contact one of these services:

    • Lifeline: 13 11 14. Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.
    • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732. 1800RESPECT provides 24/7 support for people affected by sexual assault and domestic or family violence.
    • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800. Kids Helpline provides 24/7 telephone counselling for children and young people aged five to 25 years.
    • MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978. MensLine provides 24/7 telephone and online support, information and referrals for men.
    • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467. The Suicide Call Back Service provides 24/7 telephone crisis support for people at risk of suicide, carers and the bereaved, as well as online information and resources.
    • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36. Beyond Blue provides 24/7 telephone mental health support and online chat from 4pm to 10pm AEST.
    • headspace: 1800 650 890. headspace provides online and telephone support and counselling to young people aged 12 to 25 years, and their families and friends. The service operates between 9am and 1am.

    Information about free and confidential services that can assist you with an application, and further information about the Redress Scheme, can be found here.

    Resources

    Open letter to the Attorney-General The Hon. Christian Porter MP

    Media Releases

    September 2020

    Open letter to the Attorney-General The Hon. Christian Porter MP

    Download

    Privacy concerns a stumbling block for Disability Royal Commission submissions

    Media Releases

    September 2020

    Privacy concerns a stumbling block for Disability Royal Commission submissions

    Download

    No plan, no voice, clumsy solutions for children and young people with disability through COVID 19

    Media Releases

    August 2020

    No plan, no voice, clumsy solutions for children and young people with disability through COVID 19

    Download

    Research & reports

    August 2020

    Contact list - Disability Royal Commission support services by jurisdiction

    Download

    Statement in response to ABC Background Briefing episode: Who seeks to profit from the trauma of abuse survivors?

    Media Releases

    June 2020

    Statement in response to ABC Background Briefing episode: Who seeks to profit from the trauma of abuse survivors?

    Download

    Submissions

    June 2020

    Addition to submission 30 to inquiry into education in remote and complex environments

    Download

    Submissions

    June 2020

    Victorian consultation on lessons from remote learning

    Download

    Submissions

    May 2020

    Disability Royal Commission - Emergency planning and response during COVID-19

    Download

    Submissions

    May 2020

    Letter to PAEC's inquiry into the response to COVID-19

    Download

    The Disability Royal Commission and how to get involved

    Fact sheets

    February 2020

    The Disability Royal Commission and how to get involved

    Download

    How can we help keep children and young people with disability safe?

    Fact sheets

    February 2020

    How can we help keep children and young people with disability safe?

    Download

    What to do when harm occurs - or you suspect it

    Fact sheets

    February 2020

    What to do when harm occurs - or you suspect it

    Download

    What is violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and young people with disability

    Fact sheets

    February 2020

    What is violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and young people with disability

    Download

    Submissions

    September 2019

    Draft accessibility strategy of the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse Neglect and Exploitation

    Download

    Submissions

    September 2019

    Restrictive practices authorisation in NSW

    Download

    Submissions

    November 2018

    Feedback regarding restraint and seclusion in Victorian government schools

    Download

    Submissions

    February 2018

    Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017

    Download

    Submissions

    November 2017

    Australia's draft report to the UN committee on the rights of the child

    Download

    Submissions

    July 2016

    Abuse of students with disability in Australian schools

    Download

    Submissions

    April 2016

    Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse consultation paper best practice principles in responding to complaints of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

    Download

    Submissions

    April 2016

    Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse consultation paper institutional responses to child sexual abuse in out of home care

    Download

    Submissions

    November 2015

    Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse issues paper 10 advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment services

    Download

    Submissions

    September 2015

    Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse issues paper 9 addressing the risks of child sexual abuse in primary and secondary schools

    Download

    Submissions

    July 2015

    Inquiry into violence abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings

    Download

    Submissions

    June 2015

    Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse issues paper 8 - experiences of police and prosecution responses

    Download

    Submissions

    March 2015

    National framework for protecting Australia's children (2009 - 2020)

    Download

    Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

    Research & reports

    October 2014

    Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

    Article

    Enabling and protecting: Proactive approaches to addressing the abuse an neglect of children and young people with disability

    Research & reports

    July 2014

    Enabling and protecting: Proactive approaches to addressing the abuse an neglect of children and young people with disability

    Download

    Submissions

    November 2012

    Consultation paper regarding establishment of a royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Australia

    Download

    Legislation & acts

    December 2006

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability 2006

    External Website

    Legislation & acts

    December 2006

    United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability 2006

    External Website