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Miranda Tapsell: NAIDOC week a time to celebrate and advance focus

July 06 2016 By HANNAH GRANT, MEDIA MANAGER

As NAIDOC week is celebrated across the country, Our Watch Ambassador Miranda Tapsell calls for a reinvigorated focus to end violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.

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“It is great that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture is recognised across NAIDOC week, as it should be every week, as there is much to be celebrated,” said Ms Tapsell.

“While this is a week to reflect on the many achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also a time remember that we have a long journey ahead towards true equality and justice for the first peoples of this country.

“Tackling violence against women is an essential step on that journey because Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence related assaults than non-Indigenous women,” Ms Tapsell said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are leading the charge in developing community-led approaches to prevent violence against women, something that will be highlighted at the international conference, Prevalent and Preventable, to be held in Adelaide this September.

Preventing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is also an important priority for Our Watch, and will be the focus of a new, dedicated resource currently under development.

"While I am certainly not discounting the ubiquitousness of violence against women across Australia, the differential impact of violence on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in particular is striking. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience violence at around twice the rate of non-Indigenous women," said Ms Tapsell.

“Such violence must be considered in the context of broader colonial violence and specifically the intergenerational impacts of dispossession and the ongoing and economic exclusion and disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women must not be left behind in the fight to end violence against women in Australia, and it is important that our voices are heard, and that we are part of the solution. I look forward to working with Our Watch in progressing this important work,” Ms Tapsell said.

Media contact:

Hannah Grant, Media Manager, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 or hannah.grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play”

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit: www.ourwatch.org.au

About Our Watch

Our Watch’s purpose is to raise awareness and engage the Australian community in action to prevent violence against women and their children before it starts.

Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Tasmanian, Queensland and ACT governments have also since become members of the organisation.

Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.