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7 Horrifying Facts About Indigenous Domestic Violence

Aboriginal Australia's grim reality.

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1. They are the most vulnerable group in the country.

Dan Peled / AAPIMAGE

Numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal a grim reality that Indigenous women are the most vulnerable people in the country. They're more likely to experience domestic violence and at a higher risk of being killed by a partner.

They are twice as likely to be assaulted by their partner than non-Indigenous women.

Antoinette Braybrook from the Family Violence Legal Prevention Service (FVLPS) tells BuzzFeed News Indigenous women are often forgotten about in the national conversation around family violence.

"We have to keep reminding ourselves that Aboriginal women are the most disadvantaged group in Australia," she says.

2. Indigenous woman are more likely to be hospitalised.

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Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised due to injuries caused by domestic violence than non-Indigenous women.

The federal government's National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010‑2022 says that high rates of drug and alcohol use contribute the skyrocketing rates of family violence.

3. Indigenous women are more likely to be murdered by their partner.

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Indigenous women are 10 times more likely to die as a result of their assaults from domestic violence.

Former Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma has previously said, "Aboriginal women remain invisible to policy makers, and therefore government."


4. We are at "crisis point."

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Marcia Langton, professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne, has called the situation a "national crisis."

Ms Langton told the ABC that, "‘I want to say to all the brothers out there who are tolerant of violence: do you truly believe that our society would have survived if the violence against women was at those rates prior to colonisation? This is a sick situation. This is an unacceptable situation. It is severely perverted."

5. There's not enough funding.


The 2015 - 2016 Budget was heavily criticised for a lack of funding for domestic violence programs. The Federal Government offered $16.7 million toward a public awareness campaign.

Ms Braybrook said that Indigenous budget cuts from last year coupled with a lack of commitment from this year's budget meant an uncertain future for frontline services like the FVPLS.

"There’s a lot of stuff in the media saying that this government has failed the domestic violence test and I agree with that," she said.

"In terms of the Aboriginal violence prevention legal service, we are calling for reinstatement of our national program which was abolished under the Indigenous advancement strategy. What that means is there is no commitment or direct allocation to the work that we’ve been doing for 16 years."

6. Australia is too tolerant of violence against Indigenous women.


Josephine Cashman, a member of the Indigenous Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, says that the government is committed to stemming the tide of domestic violence in Aboriginal communities, but there must be zero tolerance for violence in Indigenous communities.

"There’s a higher level of tolerance of violence against women and children in Aboriginal communities. It’s an absolute disgrace and there should be zero tolerance for this type of behaviour.

"There’s abuse of power by certain individuals who are adding to people not feeling safe to report. People are getting younger [when they] commit violence against one another. The use of weapons is common."