Abuse and Safety

DPA believes disabled people need to be proactive about keeping safe. It has zero tolerance for all forms of abuse and wants processes in place to monitor and deal with all instances of abuse.

From the DPA Agenda for Change

Current work

The Disability Action Plan

This four-year cross government plan for New Zealand to advance implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was released in May 2014. Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs), including DPA, worked alongside government to write the plan and will help oversee it's implementation. For the first time a section was included in the plan called Ensure Personal Safety. Read this section of the plan below. We will keep you informed as work progresses.  The plan will be formally reviewed in the second half of 2015.

Go here to read more about the Disability Action Plan

Priorities from the Disability Action Plan

Reduce barriers to disabled people making decisions to determine their own lives. (From the Disability Action Plan).

a) Ensure disabled people can exercise their legal capacity, including through recognition of supported decision making.
Lead: Office for Disability Issues   

Update June 2015

Best practice evidence is being collected for a literature review about supported decision making.                             

Reduce the number of disabled children and adults who are victims of violence, abuse or neglect.

a) Educate disabled people about their right not to be abused and what abuse is         
Lead: DPOs

Update July 2015

A project group is being set up to scope this work.

b) Investigate funding of DPO partnered programmes that support disabled people to speak up for themselves and ensure this is linked with victims of crime work.
Lead: Office for Disability Issues

c) Increase safeguards for disabled people who are socially isolated and develop initiatives to remove what is socially isolating them.
Lead: DPOs

Update June 2015

Research is being done to develop an hypothesis about what would help disabled people become more socially integrated. The hypothesis will then be tested by surveying disabled people.

d) Review the current care and support processes for disabled children who are (or are likely to be) subject to care under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 to establish whether they are being treated equitably and fairly, and in their best interests, and if not, to provide advice on changes needed to legislation, operational policy, operational delivery and/or monitoring and enforcement.
Lead: Ministry of Social Development

Update June 2015

This is a three year project. The Ministry of Social Development have carried out a consultation process to find out what  parents need to enable them to look after their own disabled children.

e) Complete a stocktake of key reports, recommendations and findings on preventing violence, abuse and neglect, including the cultural context for disabled Maori and Pasifika.
Lead: DPOs with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of  Health

Increase the responsiveness to disabled people of civil defence and emergency management around New Zealand.

a) Promote implementation by local civil defence and emergency management sector of the guidelines for inclusive practice including learnings from experiences of disabled people in the Canterbury earthquakes.
Lead: Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

Previous work

Keeping disabled people safe in an emergency

In 2013, DPA, People First, and Blind Citizens of New Zealand, had input into Civil Defence documentation to help keep disabled people safe in an emergency.

Research into abuse and disabled people

In early 2012, Gisborne DPA was represented on the committee of Tairawhiti Community Voice who commissioned Kaitiaki Research and Evaluation to undertake research to increase understanding of the way abuse manifests in relation to disabled people. Read the report.

Taskforce for Action on Stopping Violence within Families

We also had input into the Taskforce for Action on Stopping Violence Within Families. Read more about   the work of the taskforce here.

Giving expression to personal experiences of violence and abuse

DPA members are also part of the Clothesline Project. The project is a way of breaking the silence about all forms of violence and abuse experienced by disabled people. It enables victims to give creative expression to their experiences as they use clothing as a canvas. Read more about the project.

DPA Agenda for Change