VACCA welcomes the commitments outlined by the Federal Government in the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children launched today.
The National Plan outlines a community-driven, strengths-based approach to family violence prevention, addressing the disproportionate rates of violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.Muriel Bamblett, CEO of VACCA said "This is the first National Family Violence Plan that commits to and has listen to Aboriginal voices. I have said over and over again, Aboriginal people have the answers. We have shared our voice, now we can finally say we are thankful that governments from all sides have listened."
The Plan’s vision to end gender-based violence and a key driver, racism towards Aboriginal women and children, in one generation is aspirational and will require all levels of government to show leadership, innovation, accountability and commitment to allocate significant resourcing to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and invest in Aboriginal led decision making and solutions for our own communities.
The commitment of a 50 per cent reduction in all forms of violence against Aboriginal women and girls by 2031 is welcomed by VACCA, however we know that to achieve this there must be a significant investment in Aboriginal-led prevention and early intervention solutions.
"This Plan is a historic first step. The actions plans now need to be underpinned by investment and workforce strategies together with rigorous monitoring and evaluation data plans. Without these foundational strategies, we need to be successful for all Aboriginal peoples and the generations to come and I am confident that we can get better outcomes." she added.
The current rates of family violence experienced by Aboriginal women and children is a national crisis exacerbated by COVID. Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised due to violence than non-Aboriginal women; they also report three times as many incidents of sexual violence than non-Aboriginal women. Family violence is the leading cause of Aboriginal children and young people being removed from their families.
Family violence is not an Aboriginal issue, it is a gender issue, whole of society issue, and sadly for a vast majority of Aboriginal women it is a racial issue as the perpetrators of violence against them are non-Indigenous men. So this new National Plan highlights the scourge that family violence has on our nation as a whole,” said Ms Bamblett.
As the largest Aboriginal-led provider of family violence supports and specialist services in Victoria, VACCA knows the long-term impacts on Aboriginal children and young people as a result of exposure to family violence, and we know that mainstream approaches to addressing Aboriginal family violence do not work.