Hon Helen Morton MLC

Hon Helen Morton MLC

Former Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services; Child Protection

    $3m to combat family violence in the Kimberley

    1/10/2015 9:00 AM
    • Strong focus on addressing family violence and abuse in Aboriginal communities
    • $3 million committed over three years to support Kimberley families

    Child Protection Minister Helen Morton today launched the $3 million Safer Families, Safer Communities Kimberley Family Violence Regional Plan to protect some of the State's most vulnerable women and children.


    Launching the plan and the Kimberley Joint Response, Mrs Morton said the State Government was determined to address the appalling rates of domestic violence and abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley.


    "The Kimberley plan includes a combination of initiatives to strengthen current services and new strategies that are specific to Aboriginal people, families and communities," she said.


    "An integral part of the plan will be using Aboriginal law and culture and supporting elders to realign values and attitudes.


    "The rate of reported family violence in the Kimberley is up to eight times higher than any other location in the State.


    "The appalling overrepresentation of Aboriginal women and children as victims is unacceptable and the Kimberley plan and Kimberley Joint Response have been specifically developed to address this issue."


    The Minister said $3 million of additional funding had been committed over three years to deliver a range of strategies and services.


    "As part of the Kimberley Joint Response, additional police officers and child protection workers will work closely with Aboriginal families and communities to increase the safety and wellbeing of women and children," she said.


    The joint response model will proactively target systemic issues associated with the under-reporting of child sexual abuse in targeted remote communities and provide an ongoing localised response to child abuse in the Kimberley.


    Professional training courses and ongoing support will be provided on how to report child sexual abuse; a legal requirement of teachers, nurses, doctors, midwives and police officers.


    "We all have an important role to play to help keep families safe and improve outcomes for Aboriginal women and children, and by working together we can help build safer communities," Mrs Morton said.


    Fact File

    • In 2012-13, the rate of reported family and domestic violence in the Kimberley was up to 8.8 times higher than any other region in WA
    • Family and domestic violence is one of the key drivers for children coming into care
    • About 52% of children in care are Aboriginal
    • Over a five-year period from 2008 to 2013, the rate of reported family and domestic violence incidents in the Kimberley increased by about 79%, which is significantly greater than the overall State-wide increase of 42.8%
    • Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be physically assaulted by an intimate partner or family member and five times more likely to be sexually assaulted
    • For more information visit http://www.cpfs.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office - 6552 6900