Sometimes, remediating human rights violations can depend upon the accumulated weight of a community of stories that together make injustice visible and ordinary rights plausible and possible. (Plummer, K. (1995) 

This investigation will examine issues and themes that are particularly relevant to disabled people’s experiences of abuse in care. It will give voice to disabled victims and survivors, and their whānau, about abuse and neglect experienced in care. 

Abuse and neglect are broad terms and include inadequate or improper treatment that resulted in serious mental or physical harm to a person in care. Neglect may include physical, emotional, psychological, medical, education, spiritual and cultural neglect. 

The investigation into disabled people’s experiences is guided by an investigation scope document based on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. That scope document can be read here. 

This investigation will work alongside all of the Inquiry’s other investigations when their work involves the experiences of disabled people, to ensure evidence and issues across the Inquiry will be given a disability perspective. Information about the Inquiry’s current investigations can be found here. 

The investigation will look back and look forward and will seek out and consider the voices and experiences of disabled people. It will select issues, themes and kaupapa as case studiesTopics for these thematic and kaupapa case studies are being considered and scope documents will be published here once available. The investigation will gather evidence, have public hearings, roundtableswānanga, hui and fono. We intend that this investigation will include a public hearing in 2021. 

Providing information to the investigation

Disabled people and their whānau and families have important information that will help the Inquiry investigate disabled people’s experiences of abuse or neglect in care. 

Sharing your experience, or your family members experience, means the Inquiry can make recommendations that are necessary to prevent and respond to the abuse of disabled people in care in the future. 

Sharing experiences of abuse will be difficult, but it is important for these stories and accounts to be told and brought into the light. Wellbeing support, communication assistance and specialised supports for people with learning disabilities, neurodiversity and cognitive impairments, are all available through the Commission to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate as fully as possible. Please click here to access the Inquiry’s wellbeing information and contact page if you need support at any time. 

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

If you think you may know something that helps our investigation then please call us confidentially on 0800 222 727 or register online(external link). 


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