Alternative and Improved Responses to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland Indigenous Communities


This report addresses the issue of whether the legal system is responding adequately to domestic and family violence against Indigenous people. The aims of the research were to: determine what data are available about the use of domestic violence orders by Indigenous clients; determine whether domestic violence orders are an adequate and effective legal mechanism to respond to violence against Indigenous clients, particularly in rural and remote areas; propose potential models for more effective interventions in responding to domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities, and determine whether they require legislative or non-legislative change. Secondary issues related to good practice in legislative and non-legislative responses to domestic violence in Indigenous communities, existing data and patterns, client satisfaction with orders and services and potential for change. The evaluation utilised a combination of legal research, qualitative interviews and quantitative analysis. The 15 recommendations cover police powers, access to the criminal justice system and services, alignment of penalties with the model domestic violence laws, community education, roles and training of Indigenous police liaison officers, training for child safety officers and police, mandatory reporting, applications and orders, power to direct attendance at counselling, alternative court procedures, and improved statistical collection and reporting.

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