Today the Turnbull Coalition strengthens its comprehensive commitment to keeping women and children safe from violence with an additional $25 million for specific measures to address violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, announced the package with Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch during a visit to AFL Cape York House in Cairns. The organisation is doing very effective work with boys and young men through its 'Stand Up' program, teaching a zero-tolerance approach to violence on the field and in the home.
Targeted investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is critical to saving lives and to disrupting intergenerational cycles of violence, dysfunction and disadvantage.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised and 10 times more likely to be killed as a result of domestic violence than women in the broader community. We have a responsibility to ensure these shocking rates of violence are addressed and today’s additional commitment will deliver effective policies and safer communities.
This $25 million commitment forms part of the Coalition’s $100 million in new funding over three years announced in the 2016 Budget to implement the Third Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children which builds on the Turnbull Coalition Government’s $100 million Women's Safety Package announced in September 2015.
The $25 million announced today to address violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is for initiatives that could include:
• Improving the quality and accessibility of services available to those experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
• Developing and delivering integrated services and trauma treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and families;
• Training a skilled Indigenous workforce to deliver family violence support services within their local communities;
• Expanding the Building Better Lives for Ourselves project, delivering culturally appropriate support from senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to those who have experienced violence in their communities;
• Culturally appropriate and community led perpetrator programmes;
• Enhanced Family Violence Prevention Legal Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
• Supporting Indigenous children through technology to provide age-appropriate information to help them identify violence, keep themselves safe and support them to report violence and access services;
• Trialling perpetrator intervention models that embed a law and order framework to change behaviours, with specific programmes for young people and Indigenous Australians;
• Engaging with perpetrators using men’s referral services to provide assertive outreach and;
• Building on the national Stop it at the Start campaign to create social change focused on early intervention to disrupt intergenerational cycles of family and domestic violence.
These initiatives are based on advice from the COAG Advisory Panel on Domestic Violence. The specific initiatives to be funded will be identified in consultation with the States and Territories, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.
The Coalition has already made a significant investment in services to address domestic violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and families.
In addition to today’s funding commitment for services specific to Indigenous communities, the balance of the $100 million for initiatives to implement the Third Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children will be directed to other initiatives and programmes that will also be accessible to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
The Turnbull Coalition will seek wherever possible to leverage additional funding from State and Territory governments to increase this $25 million investment.
Our significant additional investment recognises the priority the Turnbull Coalition places on the importance of ensuring our first peoples are safe in their own communities.
The Turnbull Coalition is unwavering in its commitment to ensure women and children are safe in their homes, safe on the streets and safe online.