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The link between oppression and violence

Violence against women is a gendered issue and the use of violence is always a choice. Family violence is not a traditional part of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture. The vulnerabilities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face should not be confused for the cause of violence.

There is no single cause of violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

From an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, the causes are located in the oppression and abuses of power inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through colonisation. The intentional removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, communities and countries has tortured and fractured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

It has disconnected many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their cultural practices, roles, identity and belonging to family, community and country. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to experience widespread socioeconomic disadvantage and health inequality (Source: Australia’s welfare series no. 13, AIHW Australia's Welfare 2017). The institutionalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and people continues to occur with disproportionate rates of incarceration (as young people and adults) and removal of children from their family, community and country.

Practice prompt

Cultural practice is not an option—it should be a pivotal part of our everyday work. Learn more about cultural practice in the Starting the Journey, iLearn module and the Safe care and connection practice kit.

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