Understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence

ANROWS, 2020

Family violence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities attracts considerable attention in policy, research and practice.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have advocated for community-led approaches to family violence that are culturally safe, involve Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander justice models and recognise Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture.

This project used a strengths-based approach to explore the role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture plays in prevention, intervention and healing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence, and how this can be supported. The project was grounded in an understanding of family violence as shaped by the impacts of colonisation.

The research was undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place-based programs in six sites: the Kimberley (two sites) and the Pilbara (Western Australia), the Tiwi Islands and Darwin (Northern Territory), and Mornington Island (Queensland).

The final report emphasises the need for improved understandings within mainstream systems and services of the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family obligations and interconnections, as well as acknowledgement of the link between violence and issues that stem from colonisation, such as alcohol misuse and intergenerational trauma. It recommends a greater focus on prevention, healing and diversions from the criminal legal system; the involvement of both men and women in the design and implementation of local family violence strategies; and interventions that worked at the family, rather than individual, level.

Baby born with “avoidable” congenital syphilis: experts

InDaily, June 04, 2020

The recent birth of a child in South Australia with congenital syphilis, despite the mother being previously diagnosed and treated for the sexually transmitted infection, has prompted SA Health concern about the quality of the treatment.

[A] public health alert [sent by SA Health] “reminds and advises health practitioners of their responsibilities” in managing syphilis cases and contacts.

General practitioner at not-for-profit sexual health service SHINE SA Amy Moten said the case was “significant” because it was an avoidable outcome.

Australian-led PCOS guideline an international first

Medical Journal of Australia, Published online: 22 November 2019

An Australian-led international and multidisciplinary collaboration of health professionals and consumers has produced the first international evidence-based guideline for the diagnosis and management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with an unprecedented international translation program, summarised today in a supplement published by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Led by Professor Helena Teede, Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in PCOS, Monash and Adelaide Universities, the collaborators took 2 years to write the guideline, which includes an integrated translation program incorporating resources for health professionals and consumers.

PCOS affects 8–13% of reproductive age women, with around 21% of Indigenous women affected.

The Aboriginal Gender Study

Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia, 2019

Partnering with the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, the Aboriginal Gender Study aimed to explore, from a strengths-based perspective, the diversity of contemporary perspectives of gender, gender roles and gender equity in South Australian Aboriginal communities.

The project addressed three overall questions comprising:

1. What is the current evidence about gender roles and gender equity in the Australian
literature and Australian policy documents regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people?

2. What is the current understanding of gender roles and relationships in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?

3. What might gender equity/fairness look like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, adults, families and communities?

For findings and recommendations, please see report:

 

Cervical cancer self-tests helping to break down barriers and increase screening rates

ABC Health & Wellbeing, Posted Friday 8th March 2019 at 14:54

In Australia, 80 per cent of cervical cancers are found in women who are overdue for screening or have never been screened.

“We know there’s an equity issue in our cervical screening program,” said Dr Saville, executive director of the VCS Foundation, a cervical screening not-for-profit.

“Women from lower socio-economic settings, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds do not screen as often … and are more likely to get cancer.”

In a bid to overcome these barriers, a self-testing process was introduced to Australia’s National Cervical Screening Program in 2017.

New report about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s experience of violence

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 19 February 2019

The extent of family and domestic violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has been revealed in a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report using previously unpublished data from the 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. 

ABS Director of the Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, Debbie Goodwin said “Of those women who had experienced violence, more than two-thirds (72 per cent) identified an intimate partner or family member as a perpetrator in their most recent experience. This was twice the rate reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men (35 per cent).