Violence in families on the increase
Key members of Hedland’s Aboriginal communities came together last week to observe the Ochre Ribbon Campaign, hosted by founders the Aboriginal Family Law Service.
The Ochre Ribbon Campaign was started in 2014 by the AFLS after witnessing the need for specific attention on Aboriginal family violence.
The colour of ochre was chosen to represent the people and their connection to land.
Tyne McConnon from the South Hedland Aboriginal Family Law Service and Senior Sergeant Jeremy Marklew spoke at the event.
They both play very different but important roles when it comes to addressing family violence.
So far this year, there has been 18 people killed as a result of family violence in Australia.
Ms McConnon said the prevalence of violence around the country was alarming.
“We at the Aboriginal Family Law Service are committed to prevention and one of the key components that we believe needs to occur is communications and talking about it and bringing it out to the public sphere, not pushing it under the carpet,” she said.
Sen. Sgt Marklew previously served in the Kimberley where family violence was prevalent.
“For every report we can get from the community, we can get the other services and agencies involved and get them to help everyone,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day, I guess what I’m trying to say is I really want to increase the reports we can get for family violence.”
Since the start of the year family violence reports have increased by almost 60 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Sen. Sgt Marklew said when compared to data three years ago, the reported rate has increased nearly 140 per cent.
The change of wording from domestic violence to family violence is a direct result of growing awareness of the issue in Aboriginal communities where domestic violence often takes the form of elder abuse, cousin to cousin abuse, and abuse from extended family.
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