Working With Survivors and Offenders of Domestic and Family Violence

Indigenous Spirituality As A Theoretical Approach: Working With Survivors and Offenders of Domestic and Family Violence in community.

Joseph Oui

Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland

In one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence and one women is killed weekly in Australia. The yearly cost of domestic and family violence in Australia in 2008-09 was estimated at 13.6 billion (DVRCV). Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of domestic and family violence that their non-Indigenous counterparts (ABC). These statistics are appalling and demonstrate that there is a need for appropriate approaches for perpetrators and offenders programs and intervention.

This paper focusses on Indigenous Spirituality as a theoretical framework with working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous survivors and perpetrators of domestic and family violence. In Indigenous communities throughout Australia domestic and family violence is far more prolific and has well established media profile. Domestic and family violence in Indigenous communities alarmingly go undetected and far less reported that of main stream society. Through integrating concepts of relevant mainstream theories and approaches and Indigenous Spirituality appraises gendered inequality and dominant masculinity. These are educational tools for facilitators, practitioners and counsellors being considered through an experiential and innovative approach.

Indigenous Spirituality provides definition of main stream theories and approaches used and interpreted into Indigenous frameworks and perspectives that have been used in Indigenous societies for generation to generations. Indigenous Spirituality defines community dynamics and understanding of relationships, rather than the focus on data collection and task orientation.

Indigenous Spirituality takes into consideration the dynamics and multifaceted face of domestic and family violence of the belief and values of survivors and offenders, community context, identity, dominative masculinity and representation. The behavioural change process entails deep self-awareness and mindfulness through innovative therapeutic alliance with survivors and offenders and the understanding the development and impacts of post colonisation and the development of dominant societal ideals of dominant masculinities and dominant discourse.

The approach of Indigenous Spirituality can be adapted and used in many forms of therapies and represented to suit a wide range of clientele through assessment, interaction of clientele dynamics and modes of intervention. Indigenous Spirituality establishes the prominent foundation of group work and beautifies the pro’s and con’s of these mediums towards effective intervention for survivors and offenders of domestic and family violence.





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