‘Violence had become normal’: Royal commission hears of abuse in group disability home

The royal commission is examining the role and responsibility of Life Without Barriers in preventing and responding to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against people with disabilities who receive its services.

Susan Rewell, a Community Visitor authorised by the Victorian government to inspect disability homes, said she visited the home about 20 times from 2013.

“The majority of the time we were unpleasantly surprised about the frequency and intensity of the violence between residents,” Ms Rewell told the commission.

She said the staff who worked in the house had the best interests of the residents at heart. However, they were not supported by Life Without Barriers’ management, or given techniques to deal with resident to resident abuse.


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