Diverse experiences of domestic violence


Roundtable outcomes


The Summit roundtables identified a number of key insights and suggested actions, summarised below.


Key insights identified by roundtable participants


  • Mainstream services should have specialists with an understanding of the challenges and circumstances of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women and women with disability who are experiencing family or domestic violence.

  • The terminology “violence against women” is preferred rather than “domestic and family violence” as it better captures the violence experienced in diverse communities.

  • The justice system should be made more culturally appropriate to non-mainstream groups.

  • Women from diverse groups should be educated to better understand their human rights.

  • Women with disability living in institutional settings and experiencing abuse or violence have major challenges in reporting and gaining support.

  • Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual, intersex and queer women who are experiencing violence face barriers in finding appropriate support services.

  • How we respond to male victims has to be integrated with our response to women as primary victims.

  • Practical inclusion strategies to improve system responses should be developed, rather than placing the onus on the person experiencing violence or abuse.

  • Frontline services should be supported with training and information to appropriately respond to the needs of diverse groups who are experiencing violence.

  • Targeted information should be developed for CALD women experiencing violence or abuse, which recognises that power and control look different in different communities.

  • Sustainability of funding should be supported for services which provide support to diverse groups.

A number of contributions to the online roundtables have also been received. Those contributions are still being reviewed but some of the main themes and ideas highlighted include:

  • Some factors compounding the effects of violence on CALD women include extended family hierarchies, lack of access to finances information available services and immigration threats being made to stop women reporting or leaving.

  • CALD communities use church halls for cultural activities and this could provide an entry point for information for women experiencing violence.

  • Women with disability can experience violence in various segregated places, including day programs, group homes, institutions, workshops.

  • Funding is needed for crisis accommodation that meets the needs of women with disability and to provide personal care if it is required.

  • Designated funding schemes are needed for women with disability whose access to domestic and family violence services depends on also accessing attendant care.

  • There should be adequate services and counselling for women in prison.

  • Risk assessment frameworks in each Australian state and territory need to better reflect the unique circumstances of risk experienced by persons from diverse communities including ATSI, CALD and LGBTIQ, children, adolescents, older people and people with disability.



Discussion paper authored by the Commonwealth in preparation for COAG National Summit


Background

Domestic and family violence occurs at all levels of society. Everyone, regardless of their culture, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and gender, has a right to be safe.

As noted in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Advisory Panel’s final report on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children[1], women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, women with disability or people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI), face a heightened risk of experiencing violence. The impacts of this violence can be more severe and prolonged for these groups due to social isolation, communication barriers, dependence on others and/or limited access to appropriate mainstream and specialist services. These impacts may be exacerbated for those who experience multiple, intersecting types of disadvantage and discrimination.

Within any discussion about diverse experiences of violence, we must also consider responses to violence against men. While evidence from the Personal Safety Survey 2012[2] shows that women are more likely to experience domestic and family violence, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) recognises that men and boys can also be victims of these types of violence and can face barriers in accessing support.

This roundtable will focus on how we can better understand the experiences of people from diverse backgrounds, particularly the experiences of women from CALD backgrounds, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI and men. Discussion will also include how we can overcome the barriers that currently exist to accessing appropriate support and ensure that innovative solutions are developed for victims and survivors.

There is limited population wide data regarding those who have diverse experiences of violence. However, as a small snapshot of our available data we know that:



Issues

The statistics reflect the unique challenges faced by these groups and in response, all governments have demonstrated efforts to deepen our understanding and address diverse experiences of violence. At a national level, this has included:


  • Funding for Women with Disabilities Australia to deliver the Stop the Violence project (STVP). The STVP identified, investigated and promoted ways to improve services that help prevent violence against people with disability and respond to women with disability experiencing or at risk of experiencing violence; and
  • Support for CALD women leaders to host 29 kitchen table conversations throughout Australia with women from more than 40 ethnic and cultural backgrounds to discuss violence against women and their children. Hearing her voice: Report from the kitchen table conversations with culturally and linguistically diverse women on violence against women and their children[7] provides an overview of the key issues and suggested responses raised by participants in the conversations. This was followed by a national roundtable on violence against CALD women in August 2015, at which participants discussed how to support CALD women, their children and young people, engage CALD men, and drive whole-of-community action. A platform for action[8], the report from the national roundtable, was released in May 2016.


However, diverse and complex forms of violence are still not well understood and not always fully captured under initiatives aimed at reducing domestic and family violence. Unless we take steps to better understand the specific dynamics and complexities of those from diverse backgrounds, we increase the risk of marginalising these groups further and exacerbating the impacts of violence.

During consultations to inform the development of the Third Action Plan of the National Plan,advocates and service providers also emphasised the importance of recognising “diversity within diversity”. It was highlighted that a nuanced understanding of communities and their specific contexts is required, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Due to this, it is essential we consider the lived experiences of women from CALD backgrounds, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI and men who are experiencing violence in order to develop positive and effective policy responses to meet their unique needs.

Prevention strategies related to violence against women often focus on addressing underlying causes such as gender inequality. However, it is important to recognise that this violence is multi-faceted, often has intersectional features[*] and can be driven by other dimensions of inequality, such as social and economic marginalisation, rather than gender inequality alone.



[*] Intersectionality is a term describing how the interconnections between gender, race and other social dynamics affect the outcomes of different groups. In regards to domestic and family violence, intersectionality is a framework for rethinking assumptions about the impact and responses for those who have diverse experiences of violence.


[1] Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2016, COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children – Final Report, https://www.coag.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/COAGAdvisoryPanelonReducingViolenceagainstWomenandtheirChildren-FinalReport.pdf

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, 4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2012, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter7002012

[3] Australian Institute of Criminology 2010, Emerging issues in domestic/family violence research, http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/10.html

[4] Women With Disabilities Australia 2015, 10 Facts on Violence Against Women & Girls with Disabilities, http://youth.wwda.org.au/10-facts-violence-against-women-girls-disabilities/

[5] Australian Institute of Family Studies 2015, Intimate partner violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities, https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/intimate-partner-violence-lgbtiq-communities

[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, 4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/4102.0main+features602014

[7] Department of Social Services 2015, Hearing her voice: Report from the kitchen table conversations with culturally and linguistically diverse women on violence against women and their children, http://plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cald_womens_safety_report.pdf



Discussion questions



  • How can we address the intersecting barriers that women from CALD backgrounds including those on protection and temporary visas, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI, and men experiencing violence face when seeking and accessing support?

  • What innovative solutions can be developed to prevent violence and better support those who have diverse experiences of violence?
  • What new partnerships can be established to meet the needs of individuals and communities with diverse experiences of violence?



Contribute to the online roundtable discussion about diverse experiences of domestic violence





We want to hear your thoughts about supporting domestic violence victims from diverse backgrounds.

You can submit your ideas using the form below. For more information please see the About the Summit page or About online roundtables.




Roundtable outcomes


The Summit roundtables identified a number of key insights and suggested actions, summarised below.


Key insights identified by roundtable participants


  • Mainstream services should have specialists with an understanding of the challenges and circumstances of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women and women with disability who are experiencing family or domestic violence.

  • The terminology “violence against women” is preferred rather than “domestic and family violence” as it better captures the violence experienced in diverse communities.

  • The justice system should be made more culturally appropriate to non-mainstream groups.

  • Women from diverse groups should be educated to better understand their human rights.

  • Women with disability living in institutional settings and experiencing abuse or violence have major challenges in reporting and gaining support.

  • Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual, intersex and queer women who are experiencing violence face barriers in finding appropriate support services.

  • How we respond to male victims has to be integrated with our response to women as primary victims.

  • Practical inclusion strategies to improve system responses should be developed, rather than placing the onus on the person experiencing violence or abuse.

  • Frontline services should be supported with training and information to appropriately respond to the needs of diverse groups who are experiencing violence.

  • Targeted information should be developed for CALD women experiencing violence or abuse, which recognises that power and control look different in different communities.

  • Sustainability of funding should be supported for services which provide support to diverse groups.

A number of contributions to the online roundtables have also been received. Those contributions are still being reviewed but some of the main themes and ideas highlighted include:

  • Some factors compounding the effects of violence on CALD women include extended family hierarchies, lack of access to finances information available services and immigration threats being made to stop women reporting or leaving.

  • CALD communities use church halls for cultural activities and this could provide an entry point for information for women experiencing violence.

  • Women with disability can experience violence in various segregated places, including day programs, group homes, institutions, workshops.

  • Funding is needed for crisis accommodation that meets the needs of women with disability and to provide personal care if it is required.

  • Designated funding schemes are needed for women with disability whose access to domestic and family violence services depends on also accessing attendant care.

  • There should be adequate services and counselling for women in prison.

  • Risk assessment frameworks in each Australian state and territory need to better reflect the unique circumstances of risk experienced by persons from diverse communities including ATSI, CALD and LGBTIQ, children, adolescents, older people and people with disability.



Discussion paper authored by the Commonwealth in preparation for COAG National Summit


Background

Domestic and family violence occurs at all levels of society. Everyone, regardless of their culture, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and gender, has a right to be safe.

As noted in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Advisory Panel’s final report on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children[1], women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, women with disability or people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI), face a heightened risk of experiencing violence. The impacts of this violence can be more severe and prolonged for these groups due to social isolation, communication barriers, dependence on others and/or limited access to appropriate mainstream and specialist services. These impacts may be exacerbated for those who experience multiple, intersecting types of disadvantage and discrimination.

Within any discussion about diverse experiences of violence, we must also consider responses to violence against men. While evidence from the Personal Safety Survey 2012[2] shows that women are more likely to experience domestic and family violence, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) recognises that men and boys can also be victims of these types of violence and can face barriers in accessing support.

This roundtable will focus on how we can better understand the experiences of people from diverse backgrounds, particularly the experiences of women from CALD backgrounds, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI and men. Discussion will also include how we can overcome the barriers that currently exist to accessing appropriate support and ensure that innovative solutions are developed for victims and survivors.

There is limited population wide data regarding those who have diverse experiences of violence. However, as a small snapshot of our available data we know that:



Issues

The statistics reflect the unique challenges faced by these groups and in response, all governments have demonstrated efforts to deepen our understanding and address diverse experiences of violence. At a national level, this has included:


  • Funding for Women with Disabilities Australia to deliver the Stop the Violence project (STVP). The STVP identified, investigated and promoted ways to improve services that help prevent violence against people with disability and respond to women with disability experiencing or at risk of experiencing violence; and
  • Support for CALD women leaders to host 29 kitchen table conversations throughout Australia with women from more than 40 ethnic and cultural backgrounds to discuss violence against women and their children. Hearing her voice: Report from the kitchen table conversations with culturally and linguistically diverse women on violence against women and their children[7] provides an overview of the key issues and suggested responses raised by participants in the conversations. This was followed by a national roundtable on violence against CALD women in August 2015, at which participants discussed how to support CALD women, their children and young people, engage CALD men, and drive whole-of-community action. A platform for action[8], the report from the national roundtable, was released in May 2016.


However, diverse and complex forms of violence are still not well understood and not always fully captured under initiatives aimed at reducing domestic and family violence. Unless we take steps to better understand the specific dynamics and complexities of those from diverse backgrounds, we increase the risk of marginalising these groups further and exacerbating the impacts of violence.

During consultations to inform the development of the Third Action Plan of the National Plan,advocates and service providers also emphasised the importance of recognising “diversity within diversity”. It was highlighted that a nuanced understanding of communities and their specific contexts is required, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Due to this, it is essential we consider the lived experiences of women from CALD backgrounds, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI and men who are experiencing violence in order to develop positive and effective policy responses to meet their unique needs.

Prevention strategies related to violence against women often focus on addressing underlying causes such as gender inequality. However, it is important to recognise that this violence is multi-faceted, often has intersectional features[*] and can be driven by other dimensions of inequality, such as social and economic marginalisation, rather than gender inequality alone.



[*] Intersectionality is a term describing how the interconnections between gender, race and other social dynamics affect the outcomes of different groups. In regards to domestic and family violence, intersectionality is a framework for rethinking assumptions about the impact and responses for those who have diverse experiences of violence.


[1] Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2016, COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children – Final Report, https://www.coag.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/COAGAdvisoryPanelonReducingViolenceagainstWomenandtheirChildren-FinalReport.pdf

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, 4906.0 - Personal Safety, Australia, 2012, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter7002012

[3] Australian Institute of Criminology 2010, Emerging issues in domestic/family violence research, http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/10.html

[4] Women With Disabilities Australia 2015, 10 Facts on Violence Against Women & Girls with Disabilities, http://youth.wwda.org.au/10-facts-violence-against-women-girls-disabilities/

[5] Australian Institute of Family Studies 2015, Intimate partner violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities, https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/intimate-partner-violence-lgbtiq-communities

[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, 4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/4102.0main+features602014

[7] Department of Social Services 2015, Hearing her voice: Report from the kitchen table conversations with culturally and linguistically diverse women on violence against women and their children, http://plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cald_womens_safety_report.pdf



Discussion questions



  • How can we address the intersecting barriers that women from CALD backgrounds including those on protection and temporary visas, women with disability, people who identify as LGBTQI, and men experiencing violence face when seeking and accessing support?

  • What innovative solutions can be developed to prevent violence and better support those who have diverse experiences of violence?
  • What new partnerships can be established to meet the needs of individuals and communities with diverse experiences of violence?



Contribute to the online roundtable discussion about diverse experiences of domestic violence





We want to hear your thoughts about supporting domestic violence victims from diverse backgrounds.

You can submit your ideas using the form below. For more information please see the About the Summit page or About online roundtables.



  • Share your views

    We want to hear your thoughts on diverse experiences of domestic violence. 

    Please limit your submission to 300 words. You are also welcome to upload videos or sound recordings.

    Your views may be presented to Summit participants in summary, in part or in full. They may also be used in any publication produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, or the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet following the Summit.

    We want to hear your thoughts on diverse experiences of domestic violence. 

    Please limit your submission to 300 words. You are also welcome to upload videos or sound recordings.

    Your views may be presented to Summit participants in summary, in part or in full. They may also be used in any publication produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, or the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet following the Summit.

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