Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >


Family violence, help seeking & the close-knit Aboriginal community: Lessons for mainstream service provision

Author(s) Lumby, Bronwyn,and Farrelly, Terri
Title Family violence, help-seeking & the close-knit Aboriginal community: Lessons for mainstream service provision
Source Issues Paper 19. September 2009. Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse.
Date 2009
Document type Research paper
Coverage Australia
Summary This paper examines attitudes and experiences regarding help-seeking by Aboriginal people affected by family violence, particularly in relation to the close-knit nature of Aboriginal communities. A small qualitative study was conducted in a number of Aboriginal communities in both urban and regional areas, as well as Aboriginal people living dispersed throughout the non-Aboriginal community. Key issues, that participants felt mainstream formal help sources must address in order to be more accessible to and effective for Aboriginal people experiencing family violence, were being culturally appropriate and having an understanding of Aboriginal community and kinship network relationships. All participants highlighted the general preference Aboriginal people have for Aboriginal-specific formal help sources but noted such services can be inaccessible because of the fact that these services are typically staffed by other community members and likely to be known or related to the individual seeking help. The authors acknowledge that achieving an adequate standard of cultural competency requires sizable commitment and resources from mainstream formal help sources and also suggest that existing resources can be better utilised.
Keywords Family violence; Aboriginal; assistance; support
Topic Indigenous; Domestic Violence