Fam­ily vi­o­lence ac­tion plea

Geraldton Guardian - - Front Page - Tamra Carr

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.

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