The Courier-Mail

Women to tackle abusers

- EXCLUSIVE STEVEN SCOTT

WOMEN would be recruited as community cops in indigenous communitie­s ravaged by domestic violence under a plan proposed by Tony Abbott.

Community indigenous officers, who are currently almost all male, have powers to lock up perpetrato­rs, help victims, and ensure violent attacks are properly reported.

The Prime Minister made the proposal during a meeting with community leaders and ministers to discuss domestic violence in the Torres Strait.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison held talks with women’s leaders from across the region who urged him to hire more trained counsellor­s to deal with endemic rates of domestic violence.

Mr Morrison said domestic violence in the Torres Strait was exacerbate­d by the isolation of some communitie­s, and the incidence of abuse was likely to be much worse than statistics suggest.

Mr Morrison said he would seek advice from authoritie­s about “engagement on the ground by some appropriat­ely authorised females”.

The Minister will meet another group of indigenous women in the Cape York township of Bamaga today.

He is among a group of ministers who have joined Mr Abbott for part of his week in the Torres Strait and the northern tip of Cape York.

Attorney-General George Brandis and Health Minister Sussan Ley visited the island of Saibai to listen to community concerns about border protection and tuberculos­is.

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