Registrations still open for abuse inquiry

11 November 2020

In February 2018, the Government announced the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in Care.

The Inquiry has broad terms of reference - generally examining the historical abuse of children, young persons and vulnerable adults in State care and in the care of faith-based institutions. The Inquiry is expected to make recommendations aimed at ensuring that abuse of this nature will not occur in the future.

Within our disability services we are supporting people to have a voice and engage in this process if that’s what they want to do.

In September, IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant gave evidence about a six-year-old boy who was sent to an institution where for the next 13 years he was put to work and physically and sexually abused.

The boy – known as M - received no schooling, no pay for the work he did, and State authorities frustrated his attempts to have his abuse investigated.

“Before IHC became involved in the development of the civil claim, M had tried unsuccessfully for years to have government investigate the abuse and neglect he experienced in an institution, the life opportunities he had missed, and provide him compensation,” she said.

“M started his formal claim against the State in 1997 and it was finally settled in 2003.”

Trish Grant also gave evidence on behalf of disabled children unlawfully discriminated against at school. Disabled students continue to experience discrimination at school in 2020.

IHC fully supports the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. Many people with intellectual disabilities lived in State care. IHC continues to advocate for the need for increased safeguards for people with intellectual disabilities in 2020.

IHC made a written submission to the Inquiry in Dec 2019 about the difficulties experienced by people with intellectual disability when accessing justice.

Some families and service users have registered with the Inquiry themselves, as they did not need support to do so. We would encourage all people and families who do not need support to register to do so themselves.

Registration for sharing experiences of abuse is still open. Registration can be completed via phone on 0800 222 727 Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 4pm. You can also contact the Inquiry via email on contact@abuseincare.org.nz to register or to request that they ring you. More details can be found here.