Violence against Aboriginal women : reconstitution of community law : the way forward


Aboriginal women comprise almost 50% of all women in custody, and in 1987, Aboriginal women were the victims of 79% of all chargeable homicides in the Northern Territory. They have no faith in the criminal justice system, which is permeated by racist and sexist attitudes, and are reluctant to report rapes and bashings. Aboriginal communities must be involved in their own justice mechanisms if Aboriginal women are to receive justice, and this article includes extracts from a briefing paper presented to the Queensland Attorney-General, which outlines proposals for law reform in Queensland. These would include greater use of by laws to address issues of social control and facilitate the development of new law at a local level; greater use of Aboriginal community police or peace officers; an Aboriginal court system incorporating traditional dispute resolution mechanisms; the development of outstations for juvenile offenders; and funding for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre for Community Justice, which could develop a diverse range of relevant programs and would provide a place where both male and female voices could be heard.

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