Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Insight into Domestic Violence in Australia’s Polish Community

A new report examining the nature and prevalence of domestic violence in the Polish community in Australia was launched today in Melbourne.

The Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, Senator Kay Patterson, said under the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Program, the Howard Government had contributed $5,000 towards the printing of the report and accompanying information cards.

“This informative report was commissioned by the Australian-Polish Community Services Inc and provides an insight into domestic violence specifically in the Polish community,” Senator Patterson said.

“The report, Before it’s too late: Domestic Violence in the Polish Community: An analytical approach to defining the nature and prevalence of domestic violence in the Polish community, details a number of recommendations, including:

  • raising the awareness of domestic violence in the Polish community by providing culturally appropriate information and education services;
  • providing culturally appropriate support and relationship services for victims, their families and the perpetrators of domestic violence;
  • informing domestic violence service providers about the characteristics of the Polish community, ensuring the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services; and
  • conducting further research into identifying and developing models, which effectively respond to the needs of young people of Polish background who have witnessed and/or experienced domestic violence.

“The work of Australian-Polish Community Services Inc is to be commended for responding to the concerns of Polish women who were reporting that some mainstream domestic violence services were not providing the cultural and linguistic support they needed.

“While domestic violence affects communities world-wide, it is important that we assist women as best we can, this may mean adopting more appropriate cultural or linguistic services.

“An important aspect of preventing domestic violence is raising the awareness within the community of what services are already available, and to this end an information card listing services to help victims of domestic violence has been produced in Polish.

“The production of the report and information cards is another step forward in preventing and responding to domestic violence in all Australian communities,” Senator Patterson said.