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Princeton professor calls for killing disabled infants under Obamacare

In a radio interview Sunday with Aaron Klein, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Princeton University ethics professor Peter Singer argued it is “reasonable” for government or private insurance companies to deny
World Net Daily
According to an article published Sunday by World Net Daily, a Princeton University professor has suggested that severely disabled infants be killed to cut health care costs and for moral reasons. In a radio interview Sunday with Aaron Klein, broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Princeton University ethics professor Peter Singer argued it is “reasonable” for government or private insurance companies to deny treatment to severely disabled babies.

Several times during the interview Singer argued the health-care system under Obamacare should openly acknowledge health-care rationing and that the country should acknowledge the necessity of “intentionally ending the lives of severely disabled infants.” Singer also repeatedly referred to a disabled infant as “it” during the interview.

According the WND, Singer is well-known for his controversial views on abortion and infanticide. He essentially argues the right to life is related to a being’s capacity for intelligence and to hold life preferences, which in turn is directly related to a capacity to feel and comprehend pain and pleasure.

Singer told Klein rationing is already happening, saying doctors and hospitals routinely make decisions based on costs. Klein is the host of “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” a syndicated radio program that airs in several markets across the US. Klein is also a columnist at WND.

“It’s different in the U.S. system, in a way, because it doesn’t do this overtly; maybe it doesn’t do it as much,” Singer explained. “And the result is it spends about twice as much on health care as some other countries for very little extra benefit in terms of the outcome.”

During the interview Klein quoted from a section of Singer’s 1993 treatise “Practical Ethics,” titled “Taking Life: Humans.” In the section, Singer argued for the morality of “non-voluntary euthanasia” for human beings not capable of understanding the choice between life and death, including “severely disabled infants, and people who through accident, illness, or old age have permanently lost the capacity to understand the issue involved.”

Singer contends that the wrongness of killing a human being is not based on the fact that the individual is alive and human. Instead, Singer argues it is “characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference.” When asked by Klein whether he envisions denying treatment to disabled infants to become more common in the US under the new health-care law, Singer replied: “It does happen. Not necessarily because of costs.”

“If an infant is born with a massive hemorrhage in the brain that means it will be so severely disabled that if the infant lives it will never even be able to recognize its mother, it won’t be able to interact with any other human being, it will just lie there in the bed and you could feed it but that’s all that will happen, doctors will turn off the respirator that is keeping that infant alive.”

“I don’t know whether they are influenced by reducing costs,” Singer continued. “Probably they are just influenced by the fact that this will be a terrible burden for the parents to look after, and there will be no quality of life for the child. So we are already taking steps that quite knowingly and intentionally are ending the lives of severely disabled infants. And I think we ought to be more open in recognizing that this happens.”

Klein then asked singer, “I know that it happens and it happens certainly if the family gives consent. But do you think in the future in order to ensure a more fair rationing of health-care and health-care costs, that it should actually be instituted more? The killing of severely disabled babies?”

Singer responded by saying the killing of infants would be “quite reasonable” if it saved money that can be used for better purposes. He contended that most people would say they don’t want their premiums to be higher “so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”

Singer’s full response:

“I think if you had a health-care system in which governments were trying to say, “Look, there are some things that don’t provide enough benefits given the costs of those treatments. And if we didn’t do them we would be able to do a lot more good for other people who have better prospects, then yes.

I think it would be reasonable for governments to say, ‘This treatment is not going to be provided on the national health service if it’s a country with a national health service. Or in the United States on Medicare or Medicade.’

And I think it will be reasonable for insurance companies also to say, ‘You know, we won’t insure you for this or we won’t insure you for this unless you are prepared to pay an extra premium, or perhaps they have a fund with lower premiums for people who don’t want to insure against that.’

Because I think most people, when they think about that, would say that’s quite reasonable. You know, I don’t want my health insurance premiums to be higher so that infants who can experience zero quality of life can have expensive treatments.”

Private bus startup Leap hit with complaint under US disabilities law

“We’re sorry to anyone we’ve offended and we hope to do a better job next time.”

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A $6 COMMUTE WITH WI-FI, USB PORTS, AND COCONUT WATER
San Francisco-based Leap aims to create a comfortable lounge, on wheels.
Chris Pangilinan, a former San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency engineer who uses a wheelchair, has alleged that new private bus startup Leap is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, Pangilinan recently filed a formal complaint with the Department of Justice.
Leap recently launched its service, offering interested commuters a luxury transit option that includes things like Wi-Fi, more personal space, and refreshments. Leap charges riders $6 per fare (more than double what local buses charge), and riders use the company’s smartphone app to pay for fare or refreshments as well as to monitor when the buses are approaching.

Pangilinan, who moved away from San Francisco before Leap launched its service, said he found the company’s lack of accessibility “pretty shocking.” His complaint alleges that Leap “removed features that made the buses previously wheelchair accessible, such as the front door ramp, and wheelchair securement areas within the vehicle.”

If the Department of Justice (DOJ) finds that Leap is in violation, it could bring fines or a civil lawsuit. The DOJ did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

“I don’t want money or anything, what I want is to make sure that the spirit and the letter of the ADA [is considered] in the way that we build or change our transportation in the country,” Pangilinan told Ars. “If services like Leap are going to become more popular, then it’s harder to fight if we don’t change it.”

Who is a “transportation carrier?”

One 1990 law specifically covers public as well as private transportation companies when it comes to accessibility:

Private entities that are primarily engaged in the business of transporting people and whose operations affect commerce shall not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of specified transportation services.
However, in the opening line of Leap’s terms of service, the company states (in all caps): “LEAP DOES NOT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, AND LEAP IS NOT A TRANSPORTATION CARRIER.”

Such language could be an attempt to skirt the law. When asked how it’s possible that Leap is not a transit carrier, CEO Kyle Kirchhoff explained the situation to Ars:

We own them, but lease them to an operator. We pay them to help us manage things like cleaning, driver hiring, background checks, drug testing, maintenance, and storage. That’s the legal text that defines that relationship.
The executive denied that the company removed the buses’ ADA equipment. The company acquired its five buses used from an auction house, which was selling them from the Riverside Transit Agency, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“They all still have ramps,” Kirchhoff said, noting that he had not been contacted by anyone from the DOJ. “Some of the ramps didn’t work when we purchased them. They are used buses. We planned to address this later. As a short term solution, we are removing seats from one of our buses that still has a working ramp to make room for disabled commuters.”

In a prepared statement, the CEO added: “In the future, these considerations will be a high priority during our design process. We’re sorry to anyone we’ve offended and we hope to do a better job next time.

Parents sue drug maker after daughter with cerebral palsy dies ‘from overdose of Botox injected off-label to treat spasms’

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Susan and Mike Fortuna of Shelburne, Vermont say their daughter Mandy suffered an unexplained health deterioration soon after treatment
The parents learned their daughter had been treated by the same doctor who previously caused a 7-year-old boy to overdose, lawyers say
In that case, Botox maker Allergan was forced to pay the family nearly $7million

Poisoned by Botox? Mike and Susan Fortuna, of Shelburne are accusing Allergan of failing to warn of dangers, negligence and breach of the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act in treating their daughter, Mandy
The parents of a Vermont woman who died last year have sued Botox maker Allergan, saying off-label treatment of her spams caused by cerebral palsy with Botox contributed to her death.
Mike and Susan Fortuna, of Shelburne, sued last week, accusing Allergan of failing to warn of dangers, negligence and breach of the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act in treating their 21-year-old daughter, Mandy Fortuna.
In November, a Vermont jury awarded a New York family $6.75 million in their lawsuit against Allergan. Their lawyer said 7-year-old Joshua Drake developed epilepsy after getting Botox injections for his leg spasms caused by cerebral palsy.
Joshua and Fortuna were treated by the same doctor, Dr. Scott Benjamin of Burlington, Vermont.
The last set of injections occurred on September 5, 2014, approximately three weeks prior to her death, according to a press release put out last week by the Fortunas’ attorneys.
The Fortunas claim their daughter suffered an unexplained deterioration in her health after from Dr. Benjamin.
‘She was continually gagging and choking, unable to clear her secretions,’ reads the complaint. ‘Her breathing was shallow and Mandy had trouble holding her head up. She began to experience seizures or seizure-like spells.’
The cause of death was not entirely conclusive and was ruled as atypical pneumonia, a common complication associated with Botox overdoses, according to their sui

Taxis would be required to be wheelchair-accessible under city councilman’s proposed bill

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A proposed bill could mandate that all taxis become wheelchair-accessible, banishing the “Taxi of Tomorrow” deal.
Councilman Corey Johnson introduced a bill Thursday that would require all cabs to be wheelchair-accessible – and banish the so-called Taxi of Tomorrow.

Under current plans, half of the yellow taxi fleet would be wheelchair-friendly by 2020. The legislation would up that number to 100%, and would also apply to black cars including e-hail services like Uber.

Councilman Corey Johnson introduced the bill Thursday.
And after complaints by disability advocates who want the city to revisit its Taxi of Tomorrow deal with Nissan, the bill would require the cabs to load wheelchairs from the side, rather than from the back like the current Nissan model.

“People with disabilities were kind of an afterthought in this process,” Johnson (D-Manhattan) said. “The whole thing was a mess. It’s embarrassing we are where we are in 2015.”

After complaints by disability advocates who want the city to revisit its Taxi of Tomorrow deal with Nissan, the bill would require the cabs to load wheelchairs from the side, rather than from the back like the current Nissan model.
Taxi and Limousine Commission Allan Fromberg said officials will review the bill but added, “The comprehensive plans we have currently in motion will give New York City the largest accessible fleet in the nation, reflecting our resolute commitment to enhancing transportation options for persons with disabilities.

Padres sign wheelchair-using pitcher for 20th straight season

So often all we here about professional sport is when the players take steroids or shoot someone or fight pitbulls, so to read a story like the one below restores ones faith in humanity.

LACHAPPA08 C# S BBO USA CA
Reposted from a story By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer
April 9, 2015 12:33 pm ET

For the 20th straight season, the Padres have signed Matt LaChappa. (USA Today)
For 20 straight season, the Padres have made one of the best and most meaningful minor league contract signings in all of baseball. It’s nothing you’ll find in a transactions log though.

As detailed by Ted Berg at USA Today, San Diego has signed former left-hander Matt LaChappa to a minor league deal each year since 1996, when LaChappa suffered a heart attack while warming up in the bullpen for a Class-A game. He was only 20 at the time.

LaChappa, now 39, is now a wheelchair user, and his contract with the Padres gives him access to health insurance. Steve Bisheff of the Orange County Register wrote more about LaChappa’s story back in 2005.

Here is what Eagle LaChappa, Matt’s brother, recently told USA Today about his brother’s relationship with the Padres:

“Nowadays, everybody talks about the statistics in baseball, and how it has all become a numbers game,” Eagle LaChappa said by phone. “But the Padres have been pretty special to him. They’ve said he’ll be a Padre for the rest of his life, and they’ve allowed him to keep a certain level of care.”
LaChappa is said to be a big Padres fan who “loves when they win and hates when they lose.” His family has a relationship with Padres equipment manager Tony Petricca, who helps arrange their trips to Petco Park to see the team play in person.

The Padres drafted LaChappa in 1993 and they could have very easily cut ties and walked away after his heart attack. Teams release players who suffered career-ending injuries all the time. Instead, they’ve stepped up to make sure LaChappa get the care he needs for two decades and counting now. Well done, Pads

Mum ‘left quadriplegic son in woods to die’

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A US mother is accused of abandoning her quadriplegic son in a forest with only a blanket and a Bible for five days while she went to visit her boyfriend.

Nyia Parler, 41, allegedly left her 21-year-old, wheelchair-bound son in the woods in Philadelphia last week.

A man walking through the area stumbled across him on Friday lying 3m from his wheelchair with the Bible lying on his chest.

He was rushed to hospital suffering dehydration and malnutrition and with cuts on his back.

Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker said the man with special needs had been left to die.

“This kid is obviously a fighter. It’s just unbelievable how we found him last night. It’s just heartbreaking to see how another human, especially a mother, could treat him like that,” he told ABC.

Parler, who police say travelled to Pennsylvania to visit her boyfriend after she left her son in the woods, has been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a care-dependent person, unlawful restraint, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Teachers at her son’s school raised the alarm on Monday when he did not turn up to class.

The school called two of Parler’s sisters, one of whom called police.

But Parler told her family and police that her son was with her and her boyfriend in Maryland.

Parler has another 16-year-old son who is being cared for by relatives.

Tech-enabled homes give people with disabilities independence

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Custom-fitted apartments allow people with disabilities to take care of themselves and give them the confidence to fulfil their dreams.

At 16, Bree Synot was feeling ready to give up on life. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bones, the prospect of finding a wheelchair-friendly house suitable for her needs was always going to be tough.

Her mother knew some tough love was needed. Bree moved out of the family home and into two different respite homes. But the next 6½ months would be “painful”. Every Friday Bree would pack up her room at Bacchus Marsh, more than an hour away from Melbourne, to spend the weekends at a separate respite home in Altona.

“Not being settled and having a ‘home’ to go to, shifting between houses, not seeing family that often and feeling alone is the worst feeling I have ever felt,” Bree says.

Bree Synot in her disability friendly home in Abbotsford. Photo: Penny Stephens
And the swapping between dual respite homes could easily get worse. Bree knew, that like 6000 other Australians aged under 65 with disabilities, she could easily be facing spending the rest of her life in a nursing home.

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The ray of hope came in the form of the Summer Foundation. Set up by Di Winkler, an occupational therapist, the organisation initially began researching the plight of younger people trapped in aged care but now focuses on establishing solutions to the decades-old issue.

More recently, Winkler decided to “get her hands dirty” and the Summer Foundation bought two units to prove that “if you provide really good quality housing that is well designed, in a good location and incorporates technology, it fosters independence”. The demonstration project involves six apartments for people with a disability spread throughout a 50-strong apartment complex. The four other apartments are funded by the Transport Accident Commission.

Bree Synot in her disability-friendly home in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Photo: Penny Stephens
Bree’s case manager contacted the Summer Foundation to see if she would qualify and, after a tense 6½ months waiting, the happy phone call came. In July 2014 Bree moved in.

Privacy and the freedom to burn a candle were the two things Bree immediately enjoyed. But the longer-term changes were transformative. In just a few months, Bree was no longer relying on her mother to change her bed and do the washing. She was indulging her lifelong passion to become a chef and cook regularly. The ability to look after herself, all made possible by her custom-fitted apartment gave her confidence. She tried her hand at volunteering and welcomed a bichon frise puppy into her home.

Thanks to her iPad app connected to her home’s locks, airconditioning and blinds, she could let visitors in without moving from her bed, the couch or her chair. On one occasion she was able to let a support worker into her apartment from her hospital bed.

Support workers are available onsite around the clock in case of an emergency. Traditionally, their time would be bought in two-hour blocks but by mapping each resident’s individual needs and preferences, the support is rostered much more efficiently.

“With this model you can work it out so that people get to spread their hours across the week effectively,” Winkler says. The project is only halfway through its two-year research term but the halfway outcomes are all positive.

From Bree’s perspective, there is no doubt she is looking forward to a radically different future. She has set herself two main goals: to get her pain management under control and get a full-time job.

“I was depressed and gave up on the world and now I want to live and prove to myself and my family that I can live a normal life,” she says.

The Summer Foundation wants to see an Australia where, whenever medium to high-density housing is being built, housing for people with disabilities is automatically included.

“We don’t want to keep building the same old segregated specialist disability housing, it should just be part of mainstream housing,” Winkler says.

Can Childhood Abuse Cause Anxiety Disorder?

This post was reposted from a medical site on the net The “I” statements do not refer to me mia

Can childhood abuse cause anxiety disorder? That’s a question many with mental illness have asked themselves. Anxiety disorder is a primary or comorbid mental health issue that affects millions of people all over the world, so it’s a natural thing to wonder about. But, can anxiety disorder actually be caused by childhood abuse?

In my particular case, I feel that most of my struggles with anxiety disorder and depression were directly caused by childhood abuse. I grew up in a family marked by violence, neglect, child sexual abuse, and alcoholism. Plus, my mother suffered from severe — and largely untreated — depression and anxiety. I know that the trauma I endured as a child, and the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder I developed as an adult, have profoundly (and negatively) impacted my psyche. I will carry some of those scars for the rest of my life.

The Link Between Anxiety Disorder and Childhood Abuse
Social and medical science have long suspected that childhood abuse plays a strong role in the development of mental health disorders later in life, especially problems with anxiety disorder and depression. Scientific disciplines that have examined this link include psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and neurology.

However, the systematic study of the effects of childhood abuse is a fairly recent phenomenon. One major reason is Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious mind. It was later suggested that Freud’s theoretical construct was a cover for the descriptions of actual sexual abuse he was hearing from the patients on his now famous couch. Victorian-era Europe was very hostile towards the idea of widespread childhood abuse, which is not surprising, considering the repressive and highly patriarchal nature of early 20th century society. The result of Freud’s theories, some claim, is that serious study of the link between childhood abuse and emotional problems like anxiety disorder got delayed for at least 60 years after Freud’s death.

Childhood Abuse Can Definitely Cause Anxiety Disorder
It’s now widely accepted that childhood abuse can indeed cause anxiety disorder, along with a wide range of other mental health issues. The rather vague term “childhood abuse” is generally understood by most researchers to include the following:

Child neglect / abandonment
Sexual abuse
Child physical abuse
Shaming / berating / criticizing / humiliating
Bullying
Witnessing physical / sexual abuse of a parent or sibling
Witnessing abuse of animals
Homelessness / not having enough to eat / extreme poverty
Does this mean that all anxiety disorders are the result of childhood abuse? No, of course not, although experiencing childhood abuse does greatly increase the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder later in life. Anxiety disorder may also be the result of genetics, neurological problems, and many other poorly understood factors.

Childhood abuse can certainly cause anxiety disorder, although it’s by no means the only cause. My personal feeling is that childhood abuse is still more prevalent than we as a society believe. Facing childhood abuse can be very, very painful, and I believe it’s impossible to do it alone. Fortunately, many helpful resources exist, including the HealthyPlace Abuse Issues forum.

I’ve gained significant freedom from facing some of my own abuse, but there’s still a lot left to deal with. Some of it I will never be able to deal with, and that’s okay. Even though childhood abuse has caused much of my anxiety disorder, I’m grateful for the relief I have experienced from facing those issues as best I can.

Sources:

Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain
Depression and social anxiety related to emotional neglect in childhood
History of childhood abuse in panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder
Childhood Abuse Experiences in Adult Panic Disorder
Famous Psychologists: Sigmund Freud

RAPE IS RAPE: FACTS NOT FICTION

Dedicated to the survivors

For over 30 years, we’ve been deeply immersed in supporting and developing programs, studies, policies, and legislation intended to prevent and stop rape and sexual violence.

Here are the facts:

1.3 million U.S. women were raped during 2009, the year preceding the latest survey from CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
In the United States, the health care cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totals $5.8 billion each year, nearly $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the US report having been raped at some time in their lives.
81% of women who experienced rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short or long term impacts related to the violence experienced in the abusive relationship, while 35% of men report such impacts of their experiences.
In a nationally representative survey: for the first rape experience of female victims, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (30.4%), family members (23.7%), and acquaintances (20%).
U.S. women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and people ages 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking. Violence limits young women’s ability to manage their reproductive health and exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In most cases, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Sexual violence is a pervasive global health and human rights problem. In some countries, approximately one in four women and girls over age 15 may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, and rates of sexual abuse by non-partners ranges from one to 12 percent over the course of a woman’s lifetime.
Sexual violence and rape have been used during armed conflict to torture, injure and degrade women, and have been a feature of recent conflicts around the world, including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Darfur region of Sudan, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia.
Read the full National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey from the CDC.

People with disabilities raped, beaten, neglected while in care, hearing told

Reposted from an online story By Nicolas Perpitch
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PHOTO: Samantha Connor (front) says women with disabilities have been raped and abused but complaints can go nowhere, and accountability is lacking. (ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch)

People with disabilities have been found severely neglected, repeatedly raped, with broken bones and left humiliated in their own faeces for hours at a time, a Senate inquiry has been told.

The inquiry into the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in residential and institutional settings began hearings in Perth today.

Witnesses recounted scores of examples of assault by the people who had been entrusted to care for the victims in aged care homes, group homes for people with disabilities and mental health centres.

Women with Disabilities WA coordinator Rayna Lamb said the abuse of disabled people was chronically underreported, largely because victims were often not believed or could not communicate what had happened.

“It’s so common,” she said outside the hearing.

“On one hand, it’s assumed no one would treat a person with a disability badly. People just want to care for people with disabilities.

“But we live in a society where the attitude to disability means predators know that they can attack us, that they can abuse us, that they can treat us like shit because who is going to believe it?”

Ms Lamb said non-verbal people were particularly vulnerable because often when they expressed their anguish through actions, such as repeatedly banging their heads or screaming, it was wrongly interpreted as part of their disability.

Accountability lacking, cases ‘go nowhere’

A group of six women from the disability advocacy group Bolshy Divas gave collective evidence before the hearing, citing 40 examples where disabled people had been severely beaten or raped.

They are worried about retribution, … instead of dealing with the issue they tend to move residential facility or just sweep it under the carpet.
Acting chief executive of Advocare Sharon Richards
They told the hearing about a 12-year-old girl who came home from a school holiday camp for disabled children with a deep cut to her vagina.

Police investigated but the child had no spoken language and could not give an account.

“Basically, there’s no accountability and it goes nowhere,” Bolshy Divas’ Samantha Connor said outside the hearing.

Quoting figures from Women With Disabilities Australia, Ms Connor said 90 per cent of women with intellectual disabilities were sexually abused.

Calling for a royal commission into the treatment of people with disabilities, she described institutions as the “perfect places” for abuse to occur.

“Institutional settings are just breeding grounds for people to be deprived of independent advocacy,” Ms Connor said.

Acting chief executive of Advocare Sharon Richards told the hearing the rights of people with disabilities were constantly contravened.

She said one woman with dementia in a residential facility had to wear incontinence pads but they were only changed twice a day, making her feel uncomfortable and humiliated.

She told the hearing about an 80-year-old woman found to have green and yellow bruises and a badly fractured femur that had not been attended to.

Another woman was allegedly left with an injury to the top of her head after being hit with the buzzer used to call staff.

Ms Richards said people with disabilities often did not report abuse because they feared retribution from people within the facility they lived in.

“They are very vulnerable and unable, more often than not, to speak up for themselves,” she said.

“They are worried about retribution, and, as I said in the hearing, instead of dealing with the issue they tend to move residential facility or just sweep it under the carpet.”

The lack of family support compounded the problem, the hearing was told.

“A lot of women with disabilities do not have family support,” Ms Lamb said.

“The family is often the source of our greatest oppression.”

The hearing continues.

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