07 January 2016

Domestic and family violence amongst Indigenous communities

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Indigenous women living in rural and remote areas have a probability  45 times higher to experience domestic violence and are nearly 10 times more likely to die due to assault, compared to their non-indigenous peers.

Family violence has only been acknowledged as a public health issue in the last 25 years, before that was considered as a private family issue. It has now become a major issue in Australia; especially in Indigenous women and will take a concerted effort to address this issue.

Let’s have a look at some stats of domestic and family violence among Indigenous communities:

 (Statistics courtesy of Creative Spirits)

Violence is a significant cause of death among the Indigenous population, with women predominately being the victims.

There are different theoretical perspectives of family and domestic violence, the framework presented in Violence in Indigenous communities (Memmott et al. 2001) discusses 3 main factors:

  1. Precipitating causes: particular events that trigger a violent episode
  2. Situational factors: circumstances in the social environment
  3. Underlying factors: historical factors of the Indigenous people which make them vulnerable to enacting or becoming a victim

Memmott et al. (2001) discusses that the treatment of Indigenous people in the past 200 years have hugely impacted on social, economical, psychical, psychological and emotional problems within the Indigenous communities and thus contributing to a breakdown in social structures, traditional values and creating social problems within the community.

The first step in stopping this pattern is to address violence in urban Australia. 93% of surveyed Aboriginal women believe domestic violence is a crime. It is crucial to educate women and young children on identifying domestic violence and extend legal services to rural and remote Australia.

To hear more on how to respond to domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities, attend Akolade’s upcoming Breaking the Cycle of Domestic & Family Violence Conference which would be held in Sydney in March 2016. 

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures.  In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog. 

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