Funding to boost safety for Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse families

Services for Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) families experiencing domestic violence are set to be enhanced thanks to State Government grants of $1.5 million.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said the grants are for two respected community organisations to work with services and community groups to better respond to the needs of Aboriginal and CaLD women and their children experiencing family and domestic violence.

The grants recognise that for both Aboriginal women and CaLD women to be supported effectively, services need to have strong cultural competency as a basis for tailoring their responses. While many organisations supporting people impacted by family and domestic violence have these capabilities, the funded projects are designed to lift these skills over the next four years.

The projects will also be about engaging community groups and members to develop their understanding of family and domestic violence and its impacts on individuals, families and communities.

The grant recipients are:

  • Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre, to deliver the State-wide program ‘Free from Family and Domestic Violence’. The program will deliver cultural competence training for family and domestic violence service providers, and will also build capacity within targeted CaLD communities and multicultural organisations to enable them to recognise and respond to family and domestic violence; and
  • The Langford Aboriginal Association, to deliver the Family Safety Project, to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal women experiencing family violence. The Family Safety Project will use a co-designed approach to build cross-cultural awareness of family and domestic violence and help victims get the support they need. It will be delivered in metropolitan and regional locations.

The funding was awarded following a competitive grants process with a number of strong applications received.

The programs will commence in July 2019 and be delivered over a four-year period.

The outcome of the grant process fulfills a McGowan Government election commitment to provide culturally appropriate support services to Aboriginal and CaLD victims of domestic and family violence.

The McGowan Government is investing more than $53 million of new funding to address family and domestic violence through improved victim safety; more perpetrator accountability; better prevention and early intervention; and a more responsive justice system.

“Family and domestic violence is experienced across all ages, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds,” said Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk.

“We know that generally family and domestic violence is underreported and that for Aboriginal women and women from CaLD communities this is even more likely.

“Shockingly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence related assaults than non-indigenous women.

“Culturally and linguistically diverse women can be disadvantaged by a lack of access to services that have both family and domestic violence and cultural expertise. Like many women experiencing domestic violence, they may feel ashamed or fear for their safety especially if their migrant status is being used by a perpetrator to control or coerce them or a family member.

“These grants will support community organisations with cultural expertise to engage at a local level with victims, perpetrators, community leaders and community members to raise awareness about domestic violence and support victims to access culturally appropriate supports and services.”