Families ask government to shut down Autism Plus following damning Ombudsman report

A mother is calling on the government to shut down the facility immediately.

Her son was sexually and physically assaulted multiple times in a state-funded disability home.

In December 2016, Fairfax Media revealed that Matthew Thomas, an autistic man who doesn’t speak, was raped at least once by another resident at the emergency facility Autism Plus.

The case was later dropped due to fears that the accused’s disability was too serious to enable him to comprehend the charges against him.

An investigation by the Victorian Ombudsman, released in September, found that despite ongoing threats to Matthew, the alleged perpetrator continued to live at the Autism Plus facility.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass said “repeated failures” by Autism Plus and the Department of Human Services, “both by individuals and systemically, contributed to an unacceptable risk of significant harm to other clients, staff”.
Matthew’s mother, Maria Thomas, said she wanted justice for her son and all those who may have been harmed at the emergency facility. She said she would keep pushing until the facility was shut down.

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