” This week is Ochre Ribbon Week. It’s a week to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and call for action to end the violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – particularly our women and children.
Violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is a national emergency. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised because of family violence and 10 times more likely to die from a violent assault than other women.
Every single Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man, woman and child deserves to live a life free of violence and fear, and thrive in culture and identity. ‘
The National Convenor of the Forum is Antoinette Braybrook (CEO, FVPLS Victoria), and the Deputy Convenor is Phynea Clarke (CEO, CAAFLU).
Prevention is the key to ensuring safety for our children and mothers, keeping families connected and strong in culture. The holistic, wrap-around response that FVPLSs provide is essential to ending family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.
The goal of the Forum is to work in collaboration across Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLSs) and increase access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victim/survivors of family violence. The Forum provides advice and input to Government and ensures a unified FVPLS response to addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence.
The Forum has worked with members to develop tools for capacity building, good governance, professional development, training, data collection and evaluation.
The Forum is supported by a Secretariat, and Forum members are represented by their CEO/Co-ordinator (or delegate) at meetings and activities.
Family Violence Prevention Legal Services
FVPLSs are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations – our communities know and trust our staff and services. We are unique, experienced and specialist service providers delivering culturally safe legal and non-legal services within which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is acknowledged and celebrated.
FVPLSs provide legal assistance, casework, counselling and court support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children who are victim/survivors of family violence. Legal services are provided to victim/survivors in matters related to:
- Family violence (i.e. VRO, AVO different terminology across jurisdictions);
- Victims of crime compensation;
- Family law; and
- Child protection.
FVPLSs also provide an important community legal education and early intervention and prevention function. FVPLSs have adopted a holistic, wrap-around service delivery model that prioritise legal service delivery while recognising and addressing the multitude of interrelated issues that our clients face. Nationally 90% of our clients are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.
FVPLSs are expected to ensure that the services offered are culturally inclusive and accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children in the specified service region, regardless of gender, sexual preference, family relationship, location, disability, literacy or language.
Objectives of the National FVPLS Forum
The objectives of the Forum are to:
- Support and enhance the capacity of FVPLSs to provide high quality services that deliver results for clients and communities;
- Coordinate and facilitate communication, information sharing and relationship building between FVPLS units;
- Develop policy positions that identify areas of FVPLS work in need of reform and make recommendations for change;
- Provide advice and input to Government on issues relevant to the FVPLS program and its operation;
- Engage with key stakeholders including through participation in activities and national meetings that will benefit and promote National Forum positions;
- Promote the existence of the National Convenor/Secretariat role and FVPLSs in the appropriate forums and media; and
- Facilitate a co-ordinated approach to building a secure and sustainable resource base that meets the needs of FVPLSs and their clients.
Further information on some of our members’ services is available here.
This Ochre Ribbon Week, show your support in the following ways:
- Add the Ochre Ribbon Week 2020 frame to your Facebook profile picture here: https://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes
- Follow the National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum on Twitter and Facebook
- Donate to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled FVPLSs across the country
- Spread the word! Forward this email to your contacts
To find out more about Ochre Ribbon Week, head to https://www.nationalfvpls.org/