The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will run for three years until 2022.
The Royal Commission’s guiding document, the Terms of Reference, state that the Commission is to examine how to:
The Terms of Reference defines some key terms so that everyone has the same understanding when they interact with the Commission.
The Commission is now accepting submissions. A submission is the primary way for people and organisations to provide information to the Commission about instances of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation of people with disability.
Anyone can make a submission ― by telephone, in writing or by asking to appear before the Commission.
If someone needs help to make a submission, they can ask another person to be their advocate. The role of an advocate includes supporting the person, helping them to work our any problems or issues with giving their information (such as legal issues, or communication difficulties) and participating in the Commission. The advocate does not make decisions for the person or tell them what to do.
You can also access a government-funded advocacy support and/or legal aid service through the Commission’s website.
Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) can provide emotional support while you are deciding whether or not to make a submission, if you are appearing before the Commission and more generally to assist you.
There are several ways to make a submission to the Commission.
1. In writing, online
Submissions can be made in writing on the form on the Commission’s website.
There are three sections on the submission form. You can answer as many or as few sections as you like, and you can also give information on any other issue covered by the Terms of Reference.
You can provide information about your experiences, your background and any other information you would like to share with the Commission.
Help to use the form is available by contacting the Commission on 1 800 517 199 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
2. Verbally, over the phone
If you find it difficult to use the form, you can make a spoken submission to the Commission over the phone on 1 800 517 199 (9am to 6pm Monday to Friday except national public holidays).
3. By email or post
You can make a submission by email or Australia Post to:
You can send the Commission a letter, email or copy of the submission form with your comments on it.
4. By appearing before the Commissioner
The Commission may grant permission or ‘leave to appear’ to a person or organisation to participate in a public hearing. This requires an application through a form on the Commission’s website.
We provide free and confidential support to people affected by the Commission, including help to make a submission to the Commission.
Contact us by calling our dedicated phone number or emailing our dedicated email address.
Our service is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year).
You can also find out more about our services here on our website.
Interpreters are available for languages other than English if required.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment, we welcome calls through the National Relay Service (NRS).
Step 1: Call 133 677
Step 2: Choose your access options. Visit the National Relay Service website for different call numbers.
Step 3: When asked by the relay officer, provide our phone number 1 800 317 387.
If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call emergency services on 000 and ask for the Police.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, please call one of the following services.