Rethinking responses to 'domestic violence' in Australian indigenous communities
Taylor and Francis Ltd
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
The United Nations' response to violence against women was to adopt the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in December, 1993 that recognized indigenous women to be especially vulnerable to violence. Australia's initiatives during the 1990s included criminal justice reform, crisis service provision and community-based mediation programmes that have not proved altogether helpful for indigenous women. Given the intractable nature of violence against indigenous women, this paper holds that community-based programmes cannot work in isolation from criminal justice intervention. An approach to male-to-female violence, that views the criminal justice system not only as a means of punishment, but also as an institution for expressing human rights norms is advocated.