I'm too scared to come out of my room: Preventing and responding to violence and abuse between co-residents in group homes was tabled as the submission of the Office of the Public Advocate to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in Disability Care at its Melbourne public hearings.
The report, informed by the lived experience of residents of disability group homes, makes recommendations to tackle how those systems should be adapted to protect people with disability from their co-residents.
- changes to the NDIS Act to make volunteer community visitors in each state and territory part of the safeguarding regime (21)
- changes to the NDIS code of conduct 2018 to reflect zero tolerance to abuse (17)
- increased staff (15) and increased staff training (14)
- contingency funding from the NDIA for when crises arise (18) and trauma-informed support for victims (19)
- an increase in Victoria Police disability liaison officers (29) and legislative change for police to use Independent Third Persons in interviews with people with disability (31)
- the Family Violence Protection Act to specifically define co-residents of disability group homes as being ‘family-like’
- relationships for the purposes of the act (24).
The report is informed by a lived experience consultation facilitated by the Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID). Case studies from recently tabled Community Visitors Annual Reports are also included.