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Calls for overhaul of violence prevention programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys

Date posted: 28 November 2017

A discussion paper released by White Ribbon and the Healing Foundation said that inappropriate and badly targeted strategies are not working to change the behaviour of violent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

One of the paper's co-authors, Dr Mark Wenitong, is an Aboriginal General Practitioner and men's health expert from North Queensland. 'I think if you look at the current discourse in Australia it's just heavier prison sentences and better policing,' said Dr Wenitong.

Dr Wenitong also works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in prison, and said that programs in Australian gaols and corrective centres do not appear to be very effective.

'The prison offender programs are mostly mainstream programs. I talk to men in prison who [say] that anger management program doesn't mean anything when I go back to my community', he said.

The paper recommend that Indigenous men and women have a greater say over new behavioural change programs, including consulting with reformed perpetrators of domestic violence. Aside from family breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse was the most significant factor associated with family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the paper said.

Source: ABC News

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Last updated: 28 November 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute