ALL ABOUT THE ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ABUSE IN CARE.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry is an independent Inquiry and part of their job is to look more closely at how people have been treated in state care institutions run by the government or by faith-based organisations run by the churches and religious groups.

The Inquiry has been set up because people in Aotearoa have asked the government to look into this. Fete Taito and Ana Lee are Community Engagement Advisors who work at the Royal Commission. They are here to help answer your questions and support you to engage with the Inquiry.

Fete Taito 027 380 5681
Senior Engagement Advisor | Kaitohutohu Mātua
Faafete.taito@abuseincare.org.nz

Survivors and witnesses can share their experience in a way that works for them. This may be directly with a Commissioner (https://www.abuseincare.org.nz/about-us/who/), in a private session, through writing your story, or another way that is more comfortable and works for you. To be involved in the Inquiry, you need to first register – please contact one of the two Community Engagement Advisors or VOYCE for more information and support.

Ana Lee 027 223 1193
Senior Engagement Advisor | Kaitohutohu Mātua
Ana.lee@abuseincare.org.nz

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Sharing your story could make a difference for people in care in the future. The Inquiry hopes to make recommendations that will bring about positive change for children and young people in State or faith-based care now and in the future.

The Inquiry is interested in hearing from any young people who are survivors of abuse while in care or witnesses to such abuse.  A survivor is someone who has experienced abuse themselves and a witness is someone who has seen others being abused.

Being “in care” means the State or a faith-based institution had responsibility for your care. This could include being in foster care, care and protection residences, youth justice residences, children’s homes, psychiatric hospitals, health camps, disability institutions, schools and early childhood institutions, and faith-based care, but it is not necessarily limited to these types of care institutions. The focus of the Inquiry on abuse “in care” means that it is not able to look into abuse that happened in your own family home, unless you were in care at the time.

Abuse means when people who lived or were cared for in State care or faith-based care have been treated badly and have been hurt.

Neglect means when caregivers do not look after a person well and do not give a person all the things they need to feel well looked after.

  • Physical abuse (this could mean hitting, kicking, pinching or pushing)
  • Sexual abuse (this could mean non-consensual sexual behaviour, including kissing, touching, sex, being made to watch, or do something sexual)
  • Emotional abuse (this could mean being yelled at, being told they are stupid, being locked up, or called names)
  • Financial abuse (this could mean someone having their money stolen, or being made to spend money)
  • Neglect (this could mean withholding food, shelter or clothing, withholding education, withholding medical treatment, or withholding mobility or communication equipment)

As a survivor or witness, there are different ways you can share your story. You can share your story in person, in writing, or you may want to do a drawing or write a poem. How you share your story, and how much you share is up to you. You can also have as many people support you with your story as you choose, or you may want to share your story by yourself. The Inquiry team will help you with this process.

The Inquiry can organise or cover costs for short-term supports and counselling to help you as a survivor or witness of abuse in care talk about the abuse with them. Support can include helping you prepare to talk to the Inquiry about abuse in care and can include support talking through, or writing about your experiences.

Yes, you can. Please first contact one of the Inquiry’s two Community Engagement Advisors to find out more information:

Fete Taito
        027 380 5681
Faafete.taito@abuseincare.org.nz

Ana Lee            027 223 1193
Ana.lee@abuseincare.org.nz

Yes, they can. Please first contact one of the Inquiry’s two Community Engagement Advisors as above for more information and support.

Yes. Confidentiality is a high priority for the Inquiry. To understand more please contact one of the Inquiry’s two Community Engagement Advisors as above for more information and support.

A written account is another way that survivors can share their experience of abuse with the Inquiry.

The written account booklet contains a consent process which is followed by about ten questions that survivors can choose to answer about their experience of abuse in care.  The questions are a guide to help survivors write about their experience.

Yes. All survivors and witnesses who register with the Inquiry can access literacy support to help with any communication needs.

The information the Inquiry gets helps the Inquiry report their findings of what happened and what needs to be done going forwards to stop abuse happening again in the final report given to the Governor General. The Inquiry will not use names or other identifying details of survivors.

The Inquiry will be writing two reports to the Governor General. The first is an interim report which will be done by the end of 2020.  That will detail what the Inquiry has found so far. The second will be the final report in 2023.  That will contain the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations on how Aotearoa New Zealand should care for children, young people and vulnerable adults in the future.

WAYS TO CONTACT THE INQUIRY IF YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE

You can have the support of a VOYCE Kaiwhakamana through this process –  simply call VOYCE on 0800 486 923. You can contact Ana Lee and Fete Taito via their details above. You may also:

  • Write to PO Box 10071, The Terrace, Wellington 6011

  • Look at the website abuseincare.org.nz for more information