Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation launched its regional report on family violence at Nyinkka Nyunyu yesterday.
The Tennant Creek and Barkly Region Report on Family Violence (2022) was created by a Working Group within the Corporation and details months of research and survey data on domestic violence, also delving into how much help is out there for victims in the region.
The Working Group uncovered that the Barkly suffers significant levels of all forms of violence which is often going unreported due to a community belief that violence is tolerated.
Another shocking fact the report uncovered is that people are frightened to speak up about family violence in the fear they will be blamed for the perpetrator being jailed or assaulted by others.
The report also shows:
- Sexual violence is occurring at a higher rate than what is being reported to police.
- Those who have experienced sexual assault have not been provided the right healing support and due to this end up with drug and alcohol addiction, criminal offences, suicidal ideation and poor parenting.
Julalikari Chair Linda Turner (LT) said she was saddened and shocked by the outcome of this work.
“When we started our intention was primarily to explore local community initiatives and work together with Government and non-government agencies to build on what we have and do something differently because of the ongoing violence and loss of lives,” she said.
“Unfortunately surveys showed us that forms of violence continue to be a characteristic of our families and communities.
“I thought I was strong but I found the surveys very confronting and heartbreaking.
“Violence is not part of our culture. We as a community need to take ownership and realise the actions we need to take.
“We can no longer just keep talking about it – we need action.”
Ms Turner thanked the brave and courageous members of the community who trusted them with their story and took part in the survey. The report recommends that:
- A local peak body group be formed to discuss and inform services of the people experiencing family violence.
- Build on services already available
- Have an honest and non-blaming review of all family violence services and how the community uses them
- Investigate whether a coordination of family violence services can be centralised to one local physical site, increasing sharing of services and resources
- Recognise that gender should not always be a barrier to design and implement services delivered
The report was developed in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, Barkly MLA Steve Edgington, Northern Territory Police, Tennant Creek Women’s Refuge, Barkly Regional Council, Catholic- Care NT, No More Campaign and Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation.
This article appeared in Tennant & District Times, 24 February 2023.