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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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State of knowledge paper

Existing knowledge, practice and responses to violence against women in Australian Indigenous communities:
State of knowledge paper

This paper is a comprehensive review of published literature to present the current state of knowledge, practice and responses to violence against women in Australian Indigenous communities. It was guided by the following questions:

  • What is known about violence against Indigenous women?
  • How do Indigenous women and communities see and experience violence against women (including how do they define family violence)?
  • What are the current responses (programs or approaches) to violence against women in Indigenous communities?
  • What are the Indigenous viewpoints on what works and what is needed?

The review found that the cumulative nature of socio-economic disadvantage (such as personal, family and economic related stressors) and the lasting effects of colonisation are thought to be linked to violence against women in Indigenous communities. Any attempts to reduce violence in Indigenous communities requires a multi-faceted and holistic approach including efforts to improve the wider social, economic and health of Indigenous communities.

Much of the grey literature contained information about Indigenous viewpoints on “what works” to prevent violence against women. Approaches to dealing effectively with violence, and which are valued by Indigenous communities, include cultural based leadership and governance, and programs focused on preventing the transfer of intergenerational trauma.

 

 

Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Landscapes series. ANROWS Landscapes (State of knowledge papers) are medium length papers that scope current knowledge on an issue related to violence against women and their children. Papers will draw on empirical research, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and/or practice knowledge.


Authors

DR ANNA OLSEN
Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University

DR RAY LOVETT
Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University


ISBN: 978-1-925372-33-5 (print) 978-1-925372-32-8 (online)

68 pp.

Suggested citation

Olsen, A., & Lovett, R. (2016). Existing knowledge, practice and responses to violence against women in Australian Indigenous communities: State of knowledge paper (ANROWS Landscapes, 02/2016). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS.

 

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