New service targets family violence on Palm Island

The Palaszczuk Government is supporting people experiencing domestic and family violence on Palm Island with $893,000 in funding over three years for a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Support Service.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the Palm Island Community Company was running the new service.

“There is already some really good work being done in this space on Palm Island, and this service will increase the support available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing domestic and family violence on Palm Island and surrounding communities,” she said.

“We know there are a number of barriers facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children who are affected by domestic and family violence, including access to culturally safe and appropriate support services.

“This new service is helping to change that by providing the help and support victims and their children need while also working with perpetrators to help them take responsibility for and change their behaviour.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said while domestic violence affected every gender and every community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were overrepresented in the statistics.

“We know domestic and family violence is experienced by Indigenous Australians at a disproportionate rate, and it has devastating impacts on communities,” he said.

“Aboriginal women are more likely to be hospitalised from family violence and more likely to be killed as a result of violent assault, but they are also the most legally disadvantaged group in Australia.

“The Not Now, Not Ever report also recommended services that engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who use domestic and family violence need to provide culturally sensitive programs delivered by Indigenous providers in order to achieve better outcomes in local communities.

“At the core of all domestic and family violence services, including this new one on Palm Island, must be victim safety.”

Palm Island Community Company CEO Rachel Atkinson said the service had only been up and running about two months but was already making a difference.

“We are very proud to have the opportunity to deliver vital domestic violence services to local people,” she said.

“We are working hard to provide a range of reliable and high-quality services to women and children so they can flourish and have safe and healthy futures.”

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