Family violence action plea
A visiting State minister has called for stronger ties to be established between Aboriginal women and family violence services in Geraldton.
Minister for prevention of family and domestic violence Simone McGurk attended the Community, Respect and Equality Primary Prevention of Family Violence Summit last week.
She said it was important to include Aboriginal women in discussions that addressed family violence.
“We just had a beautiful Welcome to Country, but if we’re serious about the nod to traditional owners, we should work alongside indigenous communities and form respectful relationships,” she said.
“We especially should be working with Aboriginal women, who are an important part of addressing family violence.
“Figures on violence in indigenous communities in WA are at high levels, second only to the Northern Territory. “We need to be doing more.” Mid West Gascoyne District Superintendent Mike Bell said an average of two women were killed a week in Australia as a result of family violence and indigenous women were 35 times more likely than non-indigenous women to be hospitalised.
“Family violence is one of the highest priorities of WA Police,” he said.
“And it knows no boundaries, no matter race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preferences.”
Elaine Bennett, director of research at early parenting and early childhood services organisation Ngala, agreed with Ms McGurk’s comments about the importance of forming partnerships with Aboriginal women.
“Support services engaging with Aboriginal women is very important, because that’s how you develop trust,” Dr Bennett said.
“We need to be able to support them based on how they see things and we need to understand and be culturally sensitive to how Aboriginal families operate.
The Community, Respect and Equality Primary Prevention of Family Violence Summit was a Desert Blue Connect initiative.
Summit attendees heard from a range of Perth-based and interstate speakers, including former Sydney Swans AFL player Luke Ablett.