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Abuse in Care Inquiry - Information Sheet

What is the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

National News

Many survivors, advocates and groups have been asking for an independent Inquiry into the historical abuse and neglect that has taken place in New Zealand, of children, young people and vulnerable adults in State or faith-based care.

The Inquiry wants to hear from and encourage those who were children, young people and those with disabilities, who were abused while in care to share their story.

What will the Inquiry do with the information shared?

The Inquiry wants to understand why people were taken into care, what abuse happened and why. Including the impact, it has had on survivors, their family and the community.

The Inquiry is gathering evidence from survivor experiences, communities and organisations to inform New Zealand on the historical abuse that has happened and to make recommendations to make sure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are no longer abused in care today and into the future.

What kind of abuse and neglect and the types of places can people tell the Inquiry about?

You and or your family member can tell us about:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Neglect

Neglect includes cultural, educational, spiritual and medical neglect.

The abuse and neglect may have happened in:

  • in any institution, disability service, or respite care
  • in mental health care or psychiatric care
  • in a children’s home, foster care or adoption services
  • at any school or early childhood centre including boarding school
  • in a youth justice facility, a health camp, in police cells, court cells or police custody
  • by someone from a religious group or faith, for example a church or pastoral care

There are many settings and institutions that fall under State or faith-based care that are not listed here please contact the Inquiry if you are unsure about your own experiences.

I was a witness to abuse, am I able to share my experience?

Yes, you maybe a family member, or a staff member currently or in the past where you witnessed abuse. The Inquiry would welcome hearing from you and you would receive the same options to share your experience and supports as survivors do.

What options are there to share an experience of abuse in care?

There are a couple of ways a person can share their experience of abuse in care which includes a private and confidential session with a Commissioner, writing down your experience or sharing it publicly at a public hearing. The choice is with the survivor and witness on how and where they share their experiences.

You can even share confidentially with the Inquiry from the comfort of your own home. To learn more about how to participate please contact the Inquiry.

What kind of support can the Inquiry offer?

The Inquiry understands that sharing experiences of abuse can be very distressing. The Inquiry can pay for short-term specialist supports or packages of wellbeing depending on each individual’s needs. This may include counselling, literacy support or any other disability support that is needed.

All choices remain in the control of the survivor and witnesses around decision making, supports, informed consent and how much information they share with the Inquiry.

How can I get more information or register to share my experience?

Alternatively, you can contact:

Ana Lee, Senior Community Engagement Advisor

027 223 1193

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