The Inquiry will investigate and report on the experiences of children, young people and adults with disabilities who have been abused or neglected while in State or faith-based care. It will investigate both historical abuse and what is happening today for people with disabilities who are in care, and the redress and rehabilitation processes for people with disabilities.

Abuse and neglect are broad terms. Importantly for people with disabilities, abuse and neglect includes inadequate or improper treatment which resulted in serious mental or physical harm to the person in care.

The Inquiry wants to give a voice to people with disabilities who have experienced abuse and neglect in care. We want to learn why and how people with disabilities came to be in care, what happened to them while they were in care, and the effects on their lives and their family’s lives.

If you want to share your account with us, we will use it together with the stories of other victims and survivors with disabilities to make findings and report on what happened and why, and to make meaningful recommendations for change.

Some stories or information will be short, and others will be long or complicated. We can make arrangements for people to give us their stories and information in the way that is easiest for them. You may have photos, letters, diaries or journals or medical documents that we could look at and return to you.

We acknowledge that remembering and talking about abuse and neglect can be distressing. We are well set up to provide whatever support people need before they talk to us, during discussions, and afterwards. More about our wellbeing support can be found here or call us on 0800 222 727 to discuss what might be best for you.

The investigation will gather evidence, have public hearings, round-table discussions, hui and fono. It will conduct case studies which will focus on survivor experiences and particular issues or aspects of our Terms of Reference the relevant to people with disabilities and their communities. These will be about some specific issues and institutions, and about more general themes that arise from the information and evidence that we collect and receive.  Some people with disabilities will give evidence in person, and the evidence of others will be considered in other ways. More information about the ways to participate in the Inquiry’s work can be read here.

The disability investigation will work alongside the Inquiry’s other investigations into abuse in State and faith-based care settings where abuse occurred. Information about the Inquiry’s other current investigations can be found here.

A scope of the investigation is being prepared setting out the issues that we will investigate, and will soon be available on this page.

Providing information to the investigation

People with disabilities, and their families and whānau may have important information that helps the Inquiry investigate what happened to those abused in care. Sharing your experience means the Inquiry can make recommendations that are necessary to prevent and respond to the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in care in the future.

If you were abused or neglected in care and want to share your story, you can talk to us in person, or anonymously if you prefer, or just in writing. You can ask for legal assistance and wellbeing support to help you share your experiences with us. For further information you can call us confidentially on 0800 222 727 or register online.

We also want to hear from the whānau, families, friends and support workers of people with disabilities, as well as current and former staff members of disability care providers, and others with information about abuse or neglect in care.

We acknowledge that remembering and talking about abuse and neglect can be distressing. We are well set up to provide whatever support people need before they talk to us, during discussions, and afterwards. More about our wellbeing support can be found here or call us on 0800 222 727 to discuss what might be best for you.

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