Posted 7 Jan 17

We were commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet to create a toolkit for journalists and journalism students writing about Aboriginal experiences of family violence.

News reports that rely on racial stereotypes have a harmful effect. These reports contribute to a sense of hopelessness for our people by painting a bleak picture of Aboriginal life that discourages both victims and perpetrators from seeking help.

News reports must go beyond the statistics and ask the question “why?” Why are Aboriginal women hospitalised at a much greater rate than non-Aboriginal women? Why do we use terms like “Aboriginal family violence” when the Aboriginality of the victim is recorded but not the perpetrator? Why are Aboriginal women less likely to seek help from police?

Behind the violence are complex factors stemming from the intergenerational trauma of colonisation. Behind the statistics are systematic issues and failures. When news stories ignore these factors they promote a falsity that violence is a part of Aboriginal culture and a way of life for our people.

You can download the toolkit here