Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Last updated:
Burden of disease is a measure of the years of healthy life lost from living with, or dying from disease and injury. A portion of this burden is preventable, being due to modifiable risk factors. This report provides information on the deaths and burden of disease due to risk factors included in the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015.
New analyses of the key drivers of change over time in the burden of disease due to selected risk factors have recently been added to these data visualisations (August 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.
Whilst research on the prevalence of violence against migrant and refugee women is limited, what is known is that cultural, language and systemic barriers serve to reduce access to safety and support for this group of women, and they are at higher risk of domestic homicide. (AIC 2020)
This also corresponds with lower rates of reporting amongst migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence, as distrust for authorities, limited knowledge of rights and servicesand concerns about both material and cultural ramifications can serve as insurmountable barriers to accessing the supports needed. (AIFS 2018)
What has not yet been investigated is the specific impact of COVID-19 on migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic and family violence. This report from Women’s Safety NSW offers the experiences and professional observations of multicultural domestic and family violence specialists supporting hundreds of these very women at this critical time. What they’ve reported is that migrant and refugee women who are experiencing domestic and family violence are at higher risk than they have ever been before and that urgent action is needed if we are going to save lives.
Re: Introduction of Statutes Amendment (Repeal of Sex Work Offenses) Bill 2020
Today, Tammy Franks, MLC, will be speaking to a new bill that seeks to remove sex work from the SA criminal code. South Australia retains some of the most punitive and archaic sex industry laws in the country. This will be the fourteenth attempt at sex industry law reform in the state with a bill to decriminalise the industry being defeated by a narrow margin in the House of Assembly in November of 2019.
South Australia’s only completely peer based sex worker support organization, SIN, applauds attempts to decriminalise the industry. “Decriminalisation has been evidenced as the best legal framework for ALL sex workers in regard to health and safety”, says Kat Morrison, SIN General Manager. “Sex Industry law reform is long overdue is South Australia. What was once a progressive state that lead the way in inclusive and contemporary law reform now lags embarrassingly behind the times”.
Consensual commercial sexual services, as well as many activities and issues surrounding these transactions, are criminalised within the Summary Offenses Act, 1953 and the Criminal Consolidation Act, 1935. This bill seeks to repeal the inclusion of sex work in these Acts.
For further comment please contact SIN General Manager, Kat Morrison on 0433559337 or firstname.lastname@example.org
International Sex Workers Day on June 2 provides an opportunity for us to support the rights of sex workers in South Australia and advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work.
Sex work is criminalised in South Australia which means that those engaging in relevant sex work activities can be prosecuted for criminal offences. SIN, SIDAC (Sex Industry Decriminalisation Action Committee) and Scarlet Alliance (Australian Sex Workers Association) advocate for decriminalisation which is seen as a best practice model by sex workers and supportive community-based organisations.
The decriminalisation of sex work would improve the safety, sexual health, emotional wellbeing and financial security of sex workers. Whilst sex workers may be more vulnerable to assault and exploitation, research shows this vulnerability is impacted by the policing, stigma and lack of labor rights which current sex work laws encourage.
In a recent statement SIDAC said:
“Sex work will always exist, but is up to us to determine and guarantee, the conditions and safety of those involved. South Australia must decriminalise the industry in the best interests of both sex workers and the broader community.”
On this International Sex Workers Day we continue to support the decriminalisation of sex work in South Australia and its potential for positive impacts on the human rights of sex workers and the health of sex workers and the general public.
NOTES:  Platt, L., Grenfell, P., Meiksin, R., Elmes, J., Sherman, S. G., Sanders, T., Mwangi, P., & Crago, A. L. (2018). Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies. PLoS medicine, 15(12), e1002680. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002680Bottom of Form
Sex workers throughout Australia have been devastatingly hit by the impact of coronavirus. As a workforce, sex workers are predominantly a mixture of precarious workers and the self-employed, being independent contractors who work in or for sex industry businesses, or sole traders who work independently for themselves. As such sex workers are particularly marginalised in terms of the impact of the coronavirus and many will still be excluded from the stimulus packages announced by the government.
While we welcome the announcement that from 27 April 2020 sole traders are included in the government’s Economic Response to the coronavirus, many sex workers will still be left without financial support.