Educate staff on domestic violence against people with disability before it's too late
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My brother is a ticking timebomb, living with paranoid psychosis and being controlled by a domestically violent unstable dad.
Dad controls us in every way but the most dangerous is by threatening us and brother to lie to his health staff, stop taking his meds, putting dangerous ideas into his head and not allowing us to get brother help when he's psychotic.
Dad is charasmatic and lies to health staff while we sit there trembling in fear and afraid to speak. Typical dv behaviour. Health staff listen to dad despite our concerns.
Mum and I have gone to all treating professionals, every organisation and we are turned away because of lack of legislation and understanding of dv.
No carer raising such serious concerns and no patient experiencing it should ever be turned away by the health system- end of story.
I understand staff are underresourced and have good intent but they need specialized training and support on how to recognize and respond to carers and patients with mental health disability living in dv, if we are to reduce scenarios which leads to fatalities and criminal acts.
We've been told to "come back when he's about to kill himself or others"; "he can get himself out of dv"; the hospital sent him home unwell to "expose him to more stress"; "he chooses to live in dv"; "accept that people with disability are exploited" etc
Mum, I and hubby lived with dad to protect brother, but the situation is so destructive we have all left. There is no one to care for brother or do something if he relapses. He's 40 and not allowed to engage with people and does nothing but listen to dads rants.
Carers raising issues that are this serious need to be able to do so with adequate health staff engagement, so that violence to the affected party is minimised. It is really dangerous for staff to take a little bit of info and make decisions/plans without involving the person who has knowledge of the dv because an outsider does not know what triggers the dv, consequently leaving the person in worse situation than if nothing had been said.
My brothers health professionals(apart from ACT Health) and police have worked with us to minimize abuse to brother. Community Health has not even bothered to acknowledge it. There isn't even a legal binding way for carers to raise complaints for a mentally unwell person.
I will not sit by and wait for my brother to kill himself or harm the innocent public (driving into people, stalking etc) - it could be you or your loved ones :(
I am calling on the ACT Mental Health Minister to urgently implement specialized training and legislation to recognize and respond to persons with disability experiencing dv.
I request that the minister stop turning me away with lip service and instead engage to constructively address the issues. I will not go away.
Please share and sign my petition before it's too late for our loved ones (yours and mine).
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