Department of Family and Community Services


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09 Jul 2013

Minister for Women Pru Goward today encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to get online and provide feedback to the NSW Government’s reforms to improve the response to domestic and family violence in NSW.

“The reforms recommend a range of initiatives that will better support victims of domestic and family violence, as well as sending a firm message that domestic and family violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our community,” Ms Goward said.

The reforms recommend on-the-ground initiatives to support a consistent response to people experiencing domestic and family violence, across NSW. This includes:

  • Minimum practice standards.
  • A common risk identification tool.
  • A central referral point to guide people between services.
  • Safety action meetings where information about high-risk cases is shared so service providers can respond more collaboratively.

Ms Goward said more than 300 domestic and family violence experts from more than 50 non-government and government agencies worked collectively to design the proposed reforms.

Tanya Whitehouse, Chair of Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services NSW Inc. (WDVCAS), which supported almost 3200 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women across NSW from July 2011 to June 2012, welcomed the ne reforms.

“The Justice Strategy acknowledges there is a clear need for women in the Aboriginal & TSI community who have experienced domestic and family violence to have access to Specialist Workers who recognise their cultural needs.

“Immediate referrals from Police to one central referral point will enable consistency and ensure that Aboriginal & TSI women get the support they need,” Ms Whitehouse said.

“Police recorded almost 30,000 domestic and family violence assaults in NSW between September 2011 and September 2012 and nearly 3,300, or almost 12% of these were for people who identified themselves as Aboriginal,” Ms Goward said.

“The rate of domestic violence-related assault recorded among Aboriginal women in NSW is nearly six and a half times higher than the rate among non-Aboriginal women. Similarly, the rate for Aboriginal males experiencing domestic violence is nearly four times higher than the rate among non-Aboriginal men.”

Comment on the proposed reforms can be made at Until 23 July.

Stats on domestic violence in the Aboriginal community

  • 78% of Aboriginal people experiencing domestic violence are women.
  • The rate of domestic violence-related assault recorded by Police among Aboriginal women declined from 3,738 to 3,110 per 100,000 in the decade ending September 2012. However, while the rate may appear to be falling, this may in fact be due to lower levels of reporting to police.
  • In comparison, the rate of domestic violence-related assault recorded by police for non-Aboriginal women was 483 per 100,000 in 2012.
  • The rate of domestic violence-related assault recorded by Police for Aboriginal male victims also declined slightly, from 946 to 849 per 100,000 in the decade ending September 2012.
  • The rate for male non-Aboriginal victims was 229 per 100,000 in 2012.