Minister for Women, Pru Goward, recently requested that the communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people come together in order to provide information on the NSW Government’s reforms in response to domestic violence issues and family violence in NSW.

The reforms focus on victims of domestic violence that will help to send the message that family violence is not accepted and will not be tolerated in the communities. The reforms will also focus on many changes that will allow a response to be put in place for people that are dealing with issues of domestic violence and family violence state wide.

Right now the programs and resources are fragmented and need to have more collaboration so that there are no holes left in the system when it comes to treating victims of domestic violence and the perpetrators.

This means that the reforms will include all of the following:

– Basic standards of practice.

– Tools for identifying risks common to people experiencing domestic violence.

– A referral service to help people find the information that they need.

– High risk cases information meetings that will allow service providers to respond under a collaborative effort to provide safety to those people who need it the most.

Over 300 domestic violence and family violence experts will come together from over 50 agencies both governmental and non-governmental to work together on this project. This will be one of the largest collaborations on the issue of domestic violence in state history. In addition all of these organisations will be sharing information so that the best possible reforms can be put in place. All of the organisations also have a lot of long term experience with dealing with the issues of domestic violence.

The Chair of Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services NSW Inc. is on board with the reforms as the organisation has previously worked to support more than 3000 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander women.

The organisation was previously helping these women get out of abusive situations as well as obtain counselling and other resources needed to help them recover from the mental scars associated with dealing with domestic violence. There were also resources to help women if they had children that were also caught in the violent family situation and possibly needed assistance with coping with the issues as well.

Rates in the Aboriginal community of domestic violence are significantly higher by six-fold than in other populations which makes the need for support and reforms more urgent than ever.

The other issues are that the Aboriginal communities often lack adequate resources when it comes to dealing with issues of domestic violence so all of these reforms are being put into place in order to change that. Domestic violence is a growing problem and the resources that will come from these agencies will help to figure out how to end the problem so that it does not continue to affect future generations to come.


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