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Zero Tolerance of Abuse

By Jennifer Lumsden, March 20 2019

We want to live in a society where people are treated with respect, are able to exercise autonomy and are treated with dignity and fairness. It can be difficult to talk about abuse but it is important to, so we can make sure it does not happen.
Zero tolerance means we have absolutely no tolerance for any behaviour that is in any way abusive.

What is abuse?

When someone treats you in a way that takes away your rights to feel safe, to make your own decisions and treats you in a way that takes your dignity.

How it may affect you?

You may feel scared to speak up, or feel threatened. You may feel that you do not want to disappoint family if you do speak up. Some people do not realise they are acting wrongly towards you while others do it on purpose. It does not matter; it is all abuse.

Types of abuse

• Physical – when someone harms you for example hitting, slapping, pushing and unnecessary restraint or misusing medications.
• Emotional – when someone acts in a deliberate way to hurt your feelings including threats of harm, attempts to control, coercion, verbal abuse and bullying.
• Sexual – When someone makes you do sexual things that you are not freely choosing to do or speaks in a way with sexual references or gives unwanted attention.
• Neglect – when you are not cared for adequately.
• Financial – when someone spends your money without asking or takes your belongings, or encourages you to buy things for them, includes theft, fraud and coercion with regard to financial affairs.

What you can do?

Speak up- If you experience what you think is abuse, tell someone. Speak up to someone you trust, that could be a support worker, house support supervisor, a relative or good friend or key worker.
Report – use an organisation you feel comfortable with to raise the complaint, here is Marriott’s process
Go further – contact the Disability Support Commissioner

What Marriott is doing?

  • Person-centred practice is fundamental to how we work to understand the individual and so builds confidence and trust with staff, this empower individuals to speak up.
  • Prior to employment, all prospective staff have a police checks for any criminal records and checked against the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme. This scheme records people who have posed a risk in the past to the health, welfare and safety of people living in supported accommodation. Those on the list are not offered employment.
  • As the NDIS Safeguarding is rolled out it will further strengthen how Marriott supports zero tolerance of abuse for people with disability.

Together we can make a difference and stamp out abuse.


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