Aboriginal women are 45 times more likely to experience family violence than a white woman. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are more than twice as likely to be a victim of family violence. One in three Aboriginal people has a relative who is a victim, or is witness to an act of interpersonal violence, on a daily basis.
The number of Aboriginal women currently experiencing family violence and reporting it to police: 5%.
In response to this knowledge nearly 400 Aboriginal men took part in the gathering and issued the Inteyerrkwe Statement:
Inteyerrkwe Statement July 2008
We the Aboriginal males from Central Australia and our visitor brothers from around Australia gathered at Inteyerrkwe in July 2008 to develop strategies to ensure our future roles as husbands, grandfathers, fathers, uncles ,nephews, brothers, grandsons, and sons in caring for our children in a safe family environment that will lead to a happier, longer life that reflects opportunities experienced by the wider community.
“We acknowledge and say sorry for the hurt, pain and suffering caused by Aboriginal males to our wives, to our children, to our mothers, to our grandmothers, to our granddaughters, to our aunties, to our nieces and to our sisters. We also acknowledge that we need the love and support of our Aboriginal women to help us move forward.”
In communities across Australia, powerful initiatives and programs are being developed and implemented to end the violence against women, including:
- ‘Domestic Violence—it’s not our game’ initiative
Conceived in 2007 in Normanton, involves local football teams who “agree to act as role models and agree to exclude from games any player involved in domestic violence”. Since inception, “Domestic violence incidents dropped by 55%, breaches of domestic violence orders dropped by 64% and domestic violence is no longer accepted in the community.”
- The Spirited Men’s Program
Aims to “pioneer a new way that Nunga men can not only deal with anger and violence but find positive ways of being able to stand their ground as Aboriginal men, to feel and be respected for who they are.”
- Standing Firm Against Family Violence
Is a campaign on behalf of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria. Amongst a range of services they provide they have developed 101 ways to Stand Firm Against Family Violence and have recently held a national conference: Standing Firm for Change: A Journey to Justice. They also run Sisters Day Out, wellbeing workshops for young Koori women.
- Creative Spirits
- Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria
- Stop the Violence, Inteyerrkwe