In the next couple of months, you will be likely to hear much more about the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.
At IHC we have already been involved for more than a year now to ensure people have the opportunity to access justice – to have their say and tell their stories.
The commission has made it clear that it is looking for particular examples where it can comprehensively investigate what occurred and who was involved. It will look at what was done to prevent abuse occurring, what supervision and training was in place and how authorities responded to allegations of abuse.
In June a public hearing will examine what occurred at Lake Alice Hospital in the 1970s. Many will want to tell their own stories, whether they be individuals, family members or staff. But because of the historical nature of the case, many are now unable to tell their stories or will not want to. That doesn’t mean that justice is denied them. The commission is determined that abuse will come to light regardless.
Access to justice is core to IHC and core to IHC’s Mission. As readers of Strong Voices, individuals with intellectual disabilities, family members, friends and current or former staff, we must all play our part to ensure people who may have suffered abuse have the opportunity and information to speak up and participate or be counted from a distance if they wish.
The Royal Commission website has plenty of information – including an Easy Read information booklet. Please visit abuseincare.org.nz if you need more information. We will keep you updated.
Gina Rogers Editor