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Violence and abuse of people with disability at home

  • Issues papers
Publication date

Our issues paper on Violence and abuse of people with disability at home is asking the public to share their views about how people with disability experience violence and abuse where they live. 

The issues paper asks 13 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses.  The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

How to respond

We encourage responses from individuals and organisations by 26 February 2021. After this date, any comments about this issues paper can be made via the submissions process.

Responses to the issues paper can be provided, either:

  • electronically to
  • in writing to GPO Box 1422, Brisbane, Queensland 4001
  • by phone on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900, we can make a time with you to take your response over the phone (Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays)
  • by audio recording
  • by video recording.

Responses can be in any language. The Royal Commission will translate the response to English.

We may make your response public unless you tell us not to.

Issues paper (Auslan) - Violence and abuse of people with disability at home

Issues paper - Violence and abuse of people with disability at home


The Disability Royal Commission has published an issues paper on its website that looks at violence and abuse of people with disability in the home.

We want people with disability to tell us what changes are needed for them to be safe at home. We also want organisations to tell us how they can better respond to and prevent violence against people with disability in their homes.

The issues paper has a list of questions about these topics. We would like your feedback.

How we look at violence in the home

Violence and abuse against people with disability may happen in all types of homes and accommodation. This includes private family homes, group homes, out-of-home care, boarding houses and shelters. It can also happen when people are experiencing homelessness.

Violence in the home is often referred to as ‘domestic and family violence’.

The focus of this paper is violence abuse by:

  • intimate partners
  • extended family
  • support workers
  • co-residents
  • parents
  • house mates
  • adult children and others against older people with disability.

Violence and abuse at home

Research shows people with disability are more than twice as likely to feel unsafe in their home as people without disability.

Women with disability experience higher rates of intimate partner violence, emotional abuse, stalking and sexual violence than women without disability.

Men with disability are also more likely to experience violence and abuse than men without disability, particularly physical violence.

All people may experience violence and abuse, but people with disability can be subjected to distinct forms of violence and abuse in the home. This includes withholding of food, water, medication or personal care such as toileting. They may be subjected to restrictive practices, reproductive control such as forced sterilisation, and seclusion.

Barriers to getting help

When people with disability seek help, or need more support to leave or end violence, they may experience barriers.

Research shows domestic violence services are not accessible.

Barriers can include support services with no physical access, inaccessible information and communication, including lack of information in community languages or Auslan.

There are domestic violence services for First Nations people, but not those who also have disability. There are domestic violence services for people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, but not those who also have disability.

Barriers can also include discrimination, attitudes and a lack of knowledge or support in assisting people with disability.

How to respond

To read the full issues paper, and for more details on how to respond, go to the Policy and Research section on our website.

You can respond to the questions at the end of the issues paper. You do not have to answer every question. You can respond in any way you like, including writing or by a video recording.

More information: