Charmed & Dangerous

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience significantly higher rates and more severe forms of family abuse compared to other women. It is important to understand that family violence is not a traditional aspect of Indigenous culture. Rather, it is a result of complex intergenerational trauma caused by white invasion and colonisation. These historical and ongoing circumstances have led to many communities experiencing land dispossession, breakdown of community kinship systems and Aboriginal law, systemic racisms and vilification, social and economic exclusion, entrenched poverty, problematic substance use, inherited grief and trauma, and loss of traditional roles and status [1].

Drawing on the cultural strengths of Indigenous communities and creating culturally safe services supports the resilience of Indigenous women and encourages help-seeking behaviour.

Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and specialist Aboriginal workers within mainstream or white services understand these issues and can assist with maintaining confidentiality and establishing safety.

Thank-you to Ashleigh Johnstone, Women’s Safety NSW Indigenous spokesperson for assisting on the above.

[1] Family violence and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander women, Better Health Channel, Department of Health, State Government of Victoria.