NACCHO NEWS #coagvawsummit : Share your views online – Reducing violence against women and their children

 coagvawsummit

” The incidence of family violence in Indigenous communities is disproportionately higher than in non-Indigenous communities.

The particularly high rates of family violence experienced by Indigenous people stem from a number of interrelated factors, including cultural loss and disruption caused by colonisation and dispossession, the removal of Indigenous children from their families, inter-generational trauma and systemic disadvantage and discrimination.

Experiences of childhood abuse and neglect have resulted in entrenched generational trauma manifested in a variety of forms, including violence, lateral violence, alcohol and drug misuse and misuse of cultural authority.”

The COAG National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women will be held in Brisbane, Australia on 27 and 28 October 2016. The purpose of the Summit is for governments to review progress and profile best practice in our collective efforts to make Australia safer for women and their children.

The Summit will be held in Brisbane, co-hosted by the Premier of Queensland, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, and the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.

Delegates will include Commonwealth, State and Territory Premiers, Chief Ministers and Women’s Safety Ministers, the President of the Australian Local Government Association, academics and experts in domestic and family violence, and leaders in business and the not-for-profit sector.

The Summit will feature presentations about progress and best practice in each state and territory and across Australia. It will also feature roundtable discussion on key issues including:

The theme of the Summit is Connect. Act. Change, and delegates will be encouraged to consider how they can connect with each other, and take action to address violence against women and their children.

Discussion questions

  • How can communities be supported to develop solutions to violence that will both ensure the safety of victims and change perpetrator behavior?
  • How can governments best support the resourcing and development of programs that alleviate, respond to and reduce the incidence of violence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children?

Contribute to the online roundtable discussion about domestic violence in Indigenous communities

Share your views

Please limit your submission to 300 words. You are also welcome to upload videos or sound recordings.

Your views may be presented to Summit participants in summary, in part or in full. They may also be used in any publication produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, or the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet following the Summit.

Some statistics on the prevalence of violence amongst Indigenous people include:

Feedback from recent consultations on the Third Action Plan and from key Indigenous stakeholder groups has been clear that Indigenous women want the violence to stop.

They want to see intensive, trauma-informed services designed for families with complex needs and delivered in an appropriate cultural context. Delivery of services by Indigenous community controlled organisations is central to achieve this.

This roundtable will focus on how federal and state governments can best respond to and reduce the incidence of domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities. The discussion will also include strategies to develop solutions that both ensure the safety of victims, while also changing perpetrator behaviour.

Issues

The shortcomings of a justice system response to Indigenous family violence have been well‑documented, but a number of key issues remain unaddressed. For example, the recent Northern Territory Coroner’s Report Inquest into the deaths of Wendy Murphy and Natalie McCormack (2016) NTLC 024(External link) highlighted:

This suggests the justice system has a limited capacity to respond to Indigenous victims and protect them from further harm as well as reduce the propensity of Indigenous perpetrators to engage in domestic violence.

It is also the case that the criminal justice response alone is insufficient and not culturally-informed to address the needs of Indigenous victims of family violence.

Victims often get the blame from family and the Aboriginal community for what happens to their partners, particularly if they go to prison. For many victims there is pressure from the husband’s family for the victim to withdraw the complaint and also the victim’s own family may seek to dissuade her.

A quantum shift is required to develop alternative approaches to responding to, and protecting, Indigenous women and their children from family violence. Researchers, Indigenous advocates and academics report that the needs of Indigenous people affected by family violence are not well met through general approaches and service models.

Wrap‑around, whole of family responses that protect women and their children and are also inclusive of men are required. An approach is required that acknowledges the impacts of past policies, is based on empowering individuals, communities and strengthening families, and where traditional approaches to healing and Indigenous perspectives are valued and respected.

Given the complex causes of violence in Indigenous communities, effective solutions will only be found through establishment of strong partnerships between Indigenous communities and organisations and governments.

Responses need to be intensive, place-based and targeted to individual drivers of violence, as well as recognise the intersectional dimension of violence against Indigenous women and acknowledge Indigenous peoples’ responsibilities to their families, communities and culture.

[2](External link) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014, Indigenous Child Safety, http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129547839(External link)

[3](External link) Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2014, Fast Facts – Indigenous family violence,: http://media.aomx.com/anrows.org.au/s3fs-public/Fast-Facts—Indigenous-family-violence.pdf(External link)

[4](External link) Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2014, Fast Facts – Indigenous family violence,: http://media.aomx.com/anrows.org.au/s3fs-public/Fast-Facts—Indigenous-family-violence.pdf(External link)

[5](External link)Australian Institute of Criminology 2004,Women’s experiences of male violence: findings from the Australian component of the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS), http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/rpp/56/rpp056.pdf(External link)

[6](External link)Northern Territory Coroner’s Office 2016, Inquest into the deaths of Wendy Murphy and Natalie McCormack (2016) NTLC 024, https://justice.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/373207/A00172015-Natalie-McCormack.pdf(External link)

[7](External link) Northern Territory Coroner’s Office 2016, Inquest into the deaths of Wendy Murphy and Natalie McCormack (2016) NTLC 024, https://justice.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/373207/A00172015-Natalie-McCormack.pdf(External link)

[8](External link) Northern Territory Coroner’s Office 2016, Inquest into the deaths of Wendy Murphy and Natalie McCormack (2016) NTLC 024, https://justice.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/373207/A00172015-Natalie-McCormack.pdf(External link)

[9](External link) Northern Territory Coroner’s Office 2016, Inquest into the deaths of Wendy Murphy and Natalie McCormack (2016) NTLC 024, https://justice.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/373207/A00172015-Natalie-McCormack.pdf(External link)

Contribute to the online roundtable discussion about domestic violence in Indigenous communities

We want to hear your thoughts about the challenges Indigenous people face addressing domestic and family violence.
You can submit your ideas using the form below. For more information please see the About the Summit page or About online roundtables.

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