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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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To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


RESEARCH REPORT

Family violence policies, legislation and services: Improving access and suitability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men

This research identifies practical and legal supports available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who are perpetrators of family violence.

The research team conducted semi-structured interviews, focus groups and participant observation across two research sites: the Victorian and New South Wales towns of Mildura and Albury–Wodonga. Through this, the study explored service practice in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who are perpetrators of family violence. It covered experiences of both those working within the services, and those accessing the services.

The research reveals that mainstream men’s behavioural change programs may not be appropriate for—or even available to—Aboriginal perpetrators of violence, and there is a lack of culturally specific programs in those locations. It also found that there is a lack of support services addressing underlying issues that may contribute to the perpetration of violence, such as mental health or substance issues, or neurological disability. Positively, the research heard from participants that the Koori Court provides a promising alternative to the mainstream legal system.

Given these key findings, the report stresses the importance of expanding local support services that can assist in addressing underlying issues, as well as increased resourcing for training of service providers who work with perpetrators. The report also recommends the extension of Koori Court hearings for family violence matters across Victoria.

 

 

Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


Authors

PROFESSOR MARCIA LANGTON
Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

DR KRISTEN SMITH
Senior Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

TAHLIA EASTMAN
Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

DR LILY O’NEILL
Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

EMILY CHEESMAN
Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

DR MERIBAH ROSE
Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

 


 

ISBN: 978-1-925925-59-3 (print) | 978-1-925925-60-9 (online)

117 pp.

 

Suggested citation

Langton, M., Smith, K., Eastman, T., O’Neill, L., Cheesman, E., & Rose, M. (2020). Family violence policies, legislation and services: Improving access and suitability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (Research report, 26/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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