Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Cultural approach helps the healing from family violence

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Louise Pratt - Senator for Western Australia

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, and Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt, today met with staff at a Perth Indigenous organisation which uses an alternative and cultural approach to healing people affected by family violence.

Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation was established through a group of Aboriginal women and men in 1991 and has strong roots in Perth’s Nyoongar community.

“Family violence is a national problem that exists in all levels of society, but statistics show Indigenous Australians are more likely to be affected by violence and abuse than other Australians,” Ms Collins said.

“Sadly, we know that Indigenous women and girls are 35 times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be hospitalised as a result of family violence – this is simply unacceptable.

“The staff at Yorgum are using culturally appropriate methods in helping local Indigenous women and children affected by family violence and making lives safer.”

Ms Pratt said the Australian Government’s Indigenous Family Safety Program raises awareness and reduces the acceptance of family violence, assists Indigenous communities to deal with violence, and expands access to support services.

“In 2012-13, the program provided $7 million to fund 32 projects in regional, urban and remote communities across the country, including here in Western Australia,” Ms Pratt said.

“These projects are promoting family and community safety, including through healing services, victim support groups, community engagement activities and education programs.”

Of the 32 projects:

  • All have a role in changing negative attitudes and behaviours
  • 17 play a role in addressing alcohol problems
  • 17 play a role in achieving more effective referral and local service coordination
  • 7 play a role in more effective policing and offending responses.

Ms Collins said the Australian Government is working hard to improve the safety of all people in Indigenous communities across Australia.

These initiatives include the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework and the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

“Through these frameworks, a number of programs support women who are affected by violence or who are vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence so that they can get the assistance they need at the time they need it most,” Ms Collins said.

“All forms of violence against women are unacceptable – in any community and in any culture – and it is everyone’s responsibility to reject and prevent violence.”