THE disability watchdog has been inundated with hundreds of complaints of sexual assault, serious injury, abuse and neglect against participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Figures obtained by the ABC show the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission received 1,459 reports of serious incidents against NDIS participants in the six months between July and December last year.
Almost 500 reports involved allegations of abuse and neglect of participants, while 250 involved claims of serious injury, the ABC reported on Wednesday.
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Furthermore, the disability watchdog was told of more than 60 instances of sexual abuse, and 227 allegations of unlawful physical or sexual contact.
Advocates say the figures are just a glimpse into the level of abuse within the disability sector.
At this stage, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission only overseas operations in New South Wales and South Australia.
Greens senator Jordon Steele-John told the ABC the actual number of people with disabilities who were abused or neglected was much higher.
“I would not like to even think about the figure in actuality — it would shock the nation,” he said.
“There are many people who, because of their disability or circumstances, physically cannot use the safeguard system to report.
“You’ve got to be able to pick up the phone, do it in a safe way, and if you’re hearing impaired, visually impaired or have a physical mobility issue that’s not an option to you.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced a $527 million royal commission into the abuse and neglect of disabled Australians.
It’ll run for three years and report in April 2022.