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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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Knowledge transfer and exchange

ANROWS host activities as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

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.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Knowledge translation resources

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 SUMMARY

Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Key findings and future directions

This is an edited summary of key findings from two ANROWS research projects, “Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women” and “Family violence policies, legislation and services: Improving access and suitability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men”.

The research project “Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women” identified priorities for reducing and preventing violence against, and improving services for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the Victorian and New South Wales towns of Mildura and Albury–Wodonga. A complementary research project, “Family violence policies, legislation and services: Improving access and suitability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men”, focused on the pathways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who use violence take through the family violence legal and support service system.

In Brief
Key findings
  • Barriers that disempower women experiencing violence from reporting violence include a fear of child removal, the threat of homelessness, and the fear of isolation from family and community.
  • To overcome barriers to help-seeking, services must be available, acceptable and accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experiencing violence.
  • 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.
  • The Koori Court is a promising alternative to the mainstream legal system.

 

Key recommendations
  • Address the insecure resourcing of services supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s safety.
  • To increase specialised workers and knowledge in regional areas, increase resourcing for training of service providers who work with perpetrators. This training should include the dynamics of family violence in Aboriginal communities.
  • Address underlying complexities contributing to the perpetration of violence by expanding local perpetrator accountability support services, including:
    • therapeutic counselling and related services (both individual and group)
    • Aboriginal-specific and other culturally appropriate men’s behaviour change programs
    • alcohol and other drugs rehabilitation and counselling
    • mental health services.
  • Extend Koori Court hearings for family violence matters across Victoria.

 

 

Publication details

ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.


Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples: Key findings and future directions (Research to Policy and Practice, 25–26/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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