Healing the cycle of domestic violence in Pilbara
A sad reality is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence when compared to other Australian women. And the rate is even higher in WA’s Pilbara region.
The long-term vision of the Pilbara community is to ensure that all Aboriginal people live safe and healthy lives, free of family and domestic violence. Community members led by Devon Cuimara, have been taking steps towards achieving their dream since 2011, establishing the Aboriginal Men’s Healing Centre (AMHC).
"Violence against women and their children is everybody’s business. If we don't make it our business, then generations shall suffer in silence," Mr Cuimara said.
The planned 28-bed centre will provide a holistic healing program consistent with clinical and cultural best practice specifically designed for Aboriginal perpetrators. Using Aboriginal Culture & Lore as the key healing element, the program aims to mend the underlying issues of domestic violence.
AMHC will be developed and delivered by local Elders, offering the opportunity for Aboriginal perpetrators to remain on country and reconnect with their culture. The program will work with offenders for up to 12 months. At the end of the healing program, the men will have improved life skills, a sense of responsibility, meaningful employment, good physical health and be emotionally and spiritually strong.
[PHOTO: ICV Volunteer Kayla (left) talking with Pilbara community members]
ICV volunteer Kayla worked with Devon and Pilbara community members exploring funding that would help move AMHC from idea to reality. In some exciting news, they were recently successful in gaining a significant grant which will allow plans to move ahead securing land and developing the building which will house the program.
“Kayla and (ICV Regional Manager) Doyen are two inspirational people,” Mr Cuimara said.
“Without their support and that of ICV, many more Aboriginal women, their children and the males who use violence in the Pilbara Region shall suffer in silence,”
“There would be very few Australians that don't know of a loved one, a friend, a work colleague, or a neighbour that suffers in silence from violence. AMHC shall assist those, who suffer in silence from violence. AMHC is humbled by the gracious efforts of Kayla, Doyen and ICV. Thank you.”