Expand Menu Close Menu
Telephone: 1800 677 342

Building Safe and Respectful Cultures

Preventing Abuse Before it Starts

This Building Safe and Respectful Cultures pilot project aimed to learn more about the culture of services for people with disability and identify some practical approaches that might be both useful now and relevant for future development.

This was a co-produced research project, completed by a team of academic researchers, staff from the Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) and community researchers, people with lived experience of disability. The project ran between June 2018 and April 2019.

Who is leading the research project?

There are three key academics leading this project:

  • Professor Peter Oakes (University of Hull and Staffordshire University)
  • Associate Professor Sally Robinson (Southern Cross University – Centre for Children and Young People)
  • Melissa Murphy (University of Melbourne)

We also have three paid community researchers who are also involved in conducting interviews and collecting data for the project.

  • Francesca Lee
  • William Ward-Boas
  • Peta Ferguson

Click here to see all researcher profiles

We have a number of people on our Project Advisory Group, including people with disability and representatives from the Transport Accident Commission, VALID, National Disability Services, the Office of the Public Advocate and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Download the report

Download the project outline in Plain English (pdf, 456kb)

Download the full report (pdf, 848kb or  rtf, 111kb)

Download the executive summary only (large print pdf, 514kb or rtf, 126kb)

Download the executive summary in Plain English (pdf, 441kb or rtf, 140kb)

Why did we choose to do this project?

Learning from complaints, findings from the 2016 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Abuse in Disability Services, and feedback from the Abuse Prevention and Response Forum in September 2017 highlighted the need for research into mechanisms for preventing abuse and neglect in disability services.

In doing an environmental scan of what projects were already underway that look at prevention and reporting of violence, abuse and neglect, it was clear that while there are many initiatives addressing secondary and tertiary prevention of abuse, primary prevention was an area that still required further work.  This research has focused on early indicators of concern as the framework for our project.

An overview of the project can be seen in the video.


What next

This results of this pilot research project, Building Safe and Respectful Cultures, will become the starting point of Resources and Training.

We will explore other avenues for dissemination and this will be guided by the Project Advisory Group. If you would like to have us speak about the project at a conference, support group, or service, please contact us.

Level 30, 570 Bourke Street,

Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia

Call for enquiries or complaints - 1800 677 342

Email for enquiries or complaints - complaints@odsc.vic.gov.au