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.

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre (Victoria), 2020

Breaking the Binary Code: Celebrating gender and sexuality diversity, challenging stereotypes and relationship expectations is a 18-month primary prevention of family violence project. 

The project has a strengths-based approach working with LGBTIQA+ young people, community and stakeholders.

It was led in partnership with The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre, Barwon Adolescent Taskforce (BATForce), City of Greater Geelong, and Creative Geelong Inc, funded by the Victorian State Government under the Free from Violence Fund.

Project Objectives:

  • support the community in increasing awareness and understanding of what a healthy, safe and respectful relationship looks like in a LGBTIQA+ relationship;
  • challenge images of gender, sexuality and expectations in relationships, that are portrayed through pornography and the online environment, and promote healthy, safe and respectful relationships that are free from violence;
  • develop key terms to include in a narrative that will support parents/carers in having conversations with young LGBTIQA+ people about the subject matter; and
  • challenge the binary constructs of women and men and provide supportive and inclusive language for young people exploring gender and sexuality.

The project will engage in activities including:

  • Consultation and engagement
  • Use of inclusive language about gender, sexuality and family violence.
  • Develop a creative resource to support discussion and conversation about gender and sexuality diversity and relationships that are free from violence.
  • Challenge society binary constructs of gender and sexuality through challenging images within social norms, stereotypes and media, and stereotypes and relationship expectations

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Building on strengths to support Aboriginal young people’s sexual health

UNSW, originally published May 2020

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project ‘What We Do Well’ has reached a milestone of halfway point and completion of the first major round of data collection, conducted by Aboriginal young people trained as part of the project to interview their peers.

‘What We Do Well’ is identifying the positive actions Aboriginal young people take to reduce their sexual risk and build sexual wellbeing. By describing the social, cultural and personal strengths and resources they draw on, the research will inform sexual health promotion practice to better support Aboriginal young people.

Providing safe and remote services to LGBTIQ people due to the impact of COVID-19

Rainbow Health Victoria, April 2020

We would like to acknowledge the difficult time we all face with the current public health crisis caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Overall, older people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities are known to have significant health disparities, which might influence disease outcomes. These include a greater risk for HIV, certain cancers, asthma, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and higher smoking rates.

Accessing available health and community support services is more important than ever for LGBTIQ communities. But barriers to accessing services – for example, expecting or experiencing discrimination – may be heightened at times of stress and upheaval. Rainbow Health Victoria has created this tip sheet to assist in providing safe and inclusive remote services to LGBTIQ people due to the impact of COVID-19.