Economic cost of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability
- Research program
Economic cost of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability – Research Report
The Disability Royal Commission has published a report about the cost of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability in Australia.
The report was written by Taylor Fry which is a company that provides advice to businesses and governments, and the Centre for International Economics.
What did the report find?
The report found that in 2021-22, the cost of violence, abuse neglect and exploitation of people with disability in Australia was $46 billion.
$18.3 billion of this cost refers to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation perpetrated by individuals. For example, when a person with disability is sexually or physically abused by their partner, or when a child with disability is neglected by their parent. It includes costs on health systems, homelessness systems and child protection systems that result from this maltreatment.
$27.7 billion of this cost refers to systemic failures and neglect. This might be when governments or businesses fail to do things like:
provide opportunities for people with disability to work, so they can’t get a job
provide access to health services, so people with disability end up in hospital
The report found that the largest costs relate to health and wellbeing at $28.4 billion. Health and wellbeing costs result from things like injury, mental health conditions, self-harm and death which can occur when a person with disability experiences violence or abuse from an individual.
This is followed by costs relating to employment and financial security at $6.4 billion. For example, costs associated with low pay and low rates of employment for people with disability. Or costs associated with relying on income support, or missing work as a result of experiencing violence or abuse.
Costs relating to safety, rights and justice also come in at $6.4 billion. This includes costs associated with out-of-home care and child protection services for children with disability who are victims of abuse or neglect, or are at risk of abuse or neglect. It is also associated with costs of police and courts for victims and perpetrators of abuse, and prisons for perpetrators.
The report found the costs are much higher for First Nations people with disability and also for people with psychosocial disability.
The report also looked at the lifetime cost of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of all people with disability in Australia at 31 December 2021. It found this cost to be $474.1 billion.
The report concluded that these costs are very high.
It found that substantial costs can be saved over time if governments and society address systemic failures related to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability.
To read the full research report, visit our website. Go to the ‘Publications’ section and click on ‘Research program’.