We must take a national approach to combat violent assault in Indigenous communities, says the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.
By
Andrea Booth

Source:
The Point
30 Mar 2016 - 9:53 PM  UPDATED 30 Mar 2016 - 10:37 PM

"I think it would be very disappointing if Aboriginal services only look at the nine recommendations and don’t look at the 227," Muriel Bamblett, the CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, told The Point about findings handed down Wednesday by the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.

"Because they apply all to Aboriginal people.

"The danger is we only focus on the nine."

The royal commission, conducted by the Victoria government, was launched after a series of domestic violence incidents, including the death of 11-year-old Luke Batty, and abuse of his mother Rosie Batty for years before that.

Nine of a total 227 recommendations made by the commission, tasked to identify and advise ways to prevent such violence occurring in the future, are Indigenous specific.

They advise the Victorian government to ensure Aboriginal community-controlled organisations are adequately funded, provide support that is culturally appropriate and collect more data around domestic violence to inform effective responses.

Marcia Neave AO, the chair of the royal commission, says Indigenous women are particularly vulnerable to domestic violence.

"There are some groups in the community who face particular barriers in seeking help, people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds," she told media on Wednesday.

In comparison with other Australian women, Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised from family violence and about 11 times more likely to be killed as a result of physical abuse.

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The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence has handed down its recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to adopt.

However, Ms Bamblett wants particular attention on non-Indigenous specific recommendations around providing sufficiently equipped refuges, especially for the homeless.

“More houses are needed.

“If there are not houses for these victims to go to, then why are they going to leave their current homes?”

She suggests many of these people are living in poverty. “In fact it all comes back to poverty. The policies have to deal with poverty.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the state government takes responsibility for the situation.  

"It's a broken system," he says. "It's a system that's failing too many people.

"That's a commentary on us, on government."

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