CANBERRA, Australia — In a meeting with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Group, culturally appropriate advice was recently submitted to address and prevent domestic and family violence (DFV) in First Nations communities.

A task force to address domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities has met with Queensland’s attorney-general to discuss the importance of “cultural healing.”

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the task force is a chance to work with experts within Indigenous communities and provide appropriate domestic and family violence support.

“The stark reality is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are over-represented in domestic and family violence statistics,” Fentiman said.

One of the members, Gangaalu/Bitjarra woman Lynette Anderson, noted the importance of cultural healing when it comes to addressing domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities, especially for regional and rural communities.

The Prevention Group was established following the conclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group that supported the former Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image)

“When we talk about perpetrators and violence, we don’t get a response, but when we talk about cultural healing, we have more success in working in this space with our mob,” said Anderson.

Along with domestic and family violence, coercive control was also raised with concerns as to how new legislation could have unintended consequences on First Nation women.

“It was great to meet with @wlsq (Women’s Legal Service), @CLC_Qld (Community Legal Centres Queensland) North Queensland Women’s Legal Service & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal Services NQ to discuss how we can continue to work together to support vulnerable Queensland women & make justice more accessible,” said Fentiman in a tweet.

Fentiman raised the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce and work they are undertaking in regards to coercive control, adding she would organize a special briefing for this group from the task force.

The Prevention Group was established following the conclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group that supported the former Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council.

It will oversee addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic and family violence, including providing oversight and support for the implementation of Queensland’s Framework for Action.

It is part of an AU$138 million ($100.91 million) budget commitment by the state government to respond to domestic, family, and sexual violence, including counseling, crisis responses shelters, and legal services across Queensland. AU$ 3.5 million ($2.56 million) is allocated to enhancing the capability of justice groups in 18 Aboriginal and Strait Islander communities by developing culturally appropriate local responses.

The budget also includes AU$3.5 million ($2.55 million) to enhance the capability of Community Justice Groups in 18 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.

(Edited by Saptak Datta and Krishna Kakani)



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