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Introduction : focused on domestic violence and related mental health issues

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The present study has focused on domestic violence and related mental health issues among indigenous women in Australia. In addition, present issues have been identified with appropriate analysis of the statistical data which are related to domestic violence against women. Various government policies are present along with the commonwealth State arrangement, which is responsible for present social issues. Therefore, the study has identified these policies and evaluates those for identified social issues among the indigenous people of Australia.

Description of issue

Cases of domestic violence are increased in a higher range all over the world, whereas in Australia, the number of cases is rising in a higher range. At the present time, up to 30.5% of women are experienced physical violence are identified as aged over 15 years, and there are several types of violence identified, such as sexual and domestic violence (Cripps & Habibis, 2019). On the other hand, the analysis of the reports of 2017-18 has identified that in the workplace and in the family, women are faced with issues related to domestic violence. Among aboriginal women, sexual violence is identified as a serious issue, as one in five women over the age of 15 years faced issues related to domestic violence (, 2022). In addition, Aboriginal women faced twice as much assault and domestic violence as non-aboriginal women in Australia. Therefore in the critical analysis that is identified, domestic violence is a serious issue among the aboriginal women of Australia, and the issue needs to be prevented with strategic support.

Various risk factors are present in the aboriginal society of Australia, which triggers domestic violence against women. Based on the present report, identified Australian women aged over 18 years are faced with domestic violence at the rate of 38.6% and the identified age group is identified with the highest prevalence (, 2021). The most common risk factors are identified as “alcohol and drug use, traumatic incidence, child abuse, pregnancy and separation”, which triggered the present issues among the aboriginal women of Australia. In addition, various mental issues such as “depression, anxiety, and substance misuse” are seen among indigenous women related to domestic violence issues (, 2022). The prevalence rate of indigenous women in Australia rated with depression is identified as 17% to 47% in the year 2020. Therefore, based on the present analysis that is identified mental health issues and domestic violence are both serious issues among aboriginal women in Australia. Besides this, the rise of cases of violence with a high prevalence rate is identified among women, which needs to be prevented with strategic development.

“Post-traumatic stress disorder” is identified as another mental disorder which is identified among the women of the ingenious community in Australia. Therefore, based on the present statistical data that is identified, various policies and arrangements are related to mental issues and domestic violence against women.

Identification of Government Policies

Domestic violence is a vital issue globally. It affects many individuals, especially indigenous women, who protect their cultural rights and are mainly the prime face behind the protection of everyone in their community (Bradley, 2018). In Australia, many indigenous women suffer domestic violence, which in turn triggers their mental health issues that are primarily unaddressed.

Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act (2008)

This law was put forward by including the amendments that were given under the Legislation act 2001. This law was put forward in the Australian jurisdiction enforcing immediately to have a more rigorous approach to the issue of domestic violence (Freeman, 2018). The amendments address and encompass overt and covert behaviors like physical harm, cyclic and pattern behavior, and also triggering behaviors that might aggravate the violence in a domestic situation. Breaches of this legislation would put the predator in a long-term serving of the sentence that would be put forward by the court (, 2020).

Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act (2012)

The amendments of this law put forward across all Australian regions proposed that all kinds of violent behaviors like physical abuse, verbal abuse, abetment to mental discomfort, and provoking situations in a domestic setting against any members of the family would be punishable under the law by the Australian jurisdiction (Freeman, 2018). Breach of this law would punish the predator under severe sentence terms abiding by the jurisdiction in the face of protecting the rights of the indigenous women. The police would be in charge of recording the details of the incidents, speaking to and surveying the victim for additional information, and would thus, be responsible for engaging and filing according to the proper contacts with the legal system put forward by the jurisdiction (, 2020)

Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act (2009)

In this Act, the law is enforced when the intention depicts to be an act or provocation of abuse, utilization of any kind of ammunition while enacting the behavior of violence, any tendency to stop intervention amid the violence, and failure to abide by intervention are all-punishable under this law (David et al., 2021). The Commissioner appointed to look into the matter according to the law would necessarily follow all the interventions provided for the protection of the victim suffering the violence (, 2020). He is responsible for providing all the interventions to protect the rights against the violence of indigenous women across all regions of Australia. This law also applies to interstate borders (, 2020). 

 Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995)

This law is one of the oldest acts in the regions of Australia put forward by the jurisdiction to protect the rights of all kinds of individuals who will suffer violence in the borders across any Australian region, even if the offender is a tourist on the lands of Australian regions. The Code ensures the protection of any kind of criminal activity against any individual, encompassing domestic violence and its outcomes (Lyons & Brewer, 2022). The legal supervisor appointed by this jury in this law would be responsible for providing all kinds of assistance to the victim under this law. 

Therefore, the above legislations are there in the jurisdiction to protect indigenous women and their mental well-being from domestic violence in Australia.

Commonwealth-state arrangements

The Australian government has developed various policies and commonwealth-state arrangements supported by various practices which support discrimination which may trigger domestic violence. On the other hand, the policies are developed due to the reduction of violence against Australian women. “Australian Human Rights Commission” developed "The racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (RDA)", which helps to identify the rights of indigenous women in the workplace (Ketheesan et al. 2020). The present act is developed to support women with mental health issues. In addition, the “Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)” is identified as an arrangement which does not help to dominate discrimination but rather focuses on families' role in triggering discrimination. As per the view of Buxton-Namisnyk (2022), some equality laws and support of commonwealth states support discrimination which triggered domestic violence among women in Australia. Similarly, the “Disability Discrimination Act 1992” is identified as legislation which unlawful discrimination, such as the presence of mental health issues. Therefore, the commission recommended some effective strategies to reduce discrimination among families for reduced domestic violence against indigenous women. 

In the above sections of the study that is identified various policies are developed by the Australian government to support the issues of domestic violence against women. The Commonwealth Government has developed a social plan for reducing domestic violence against women. The “National Agreement and funding programme” is established by “The Council of Australian Governments” and “The Commonwealth Government” for the reduction of cases of domestic violence (, 2021). The Commonwealth Government has been focusing on the reduction of domains of gender roles which helps to reduce inequality to prevent domestic violence. Some other effective suggested strategies for the reduction of domestic violence are;

  • Reduction of issues related to gender inequality for reduced severity of domestic violence
  • Determination of berries for management of mental health issues among women

In Australia, to prevent domestic violence against indigenous women “New Zealand Family Violence Death Review Committee” identifies some behavioural characteristics which help to identify violent cases. As per the view of Owais et al. (2022), power imbalance or gender inequality is a factor which triggers domestic violence against women, mainly indigenous women. The identified policies help to reduce the issues related to domestic violence and help to reduce the severity of domestic violence against aboriginal women in Australia (Lehmann, Lehmann & Sanders, 2018). In the year 2011, the acts were developed to reduce cases of domestic violence and support aboriginal women with such mental issues.


Based on the above discussion, it is concluded that cases of domestic violence among the aboriginal women of Australia rise in a high range. Various risk factors triggered the issues more where some policies are also present. In addition, drug consumption, alcohol consumption and cultural barriers are identified as causes which are triggered by domestic violence in a higher range. The policies supporting discrimination and gender inequality are increasing the risk of domestic violence against indigenous women. "Family Violence Protection Act 2008", "Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012", and "Australian Human Rights Commission" are some identified domestic violence reduction acts which may support aboriginal women from domestic violence. Therefore based on the apple discussion, it is concluded that rising cases of domestic violence and mental issues may reduce more with the support of effective policies.


Bradley, S. (2018). Domestic and family violence in post-conflict communities: International human rights law and the state’s obligation to protect women and children. Health and human rights20(2), 123.

Buxton-Namisnyk, E. (2022). Domestic violence policing of first nations women in Australia:‘Settler’frameworks, consequential harms and the promise of meaningful self-determination. The British Journal of Criminology62(6), 1323-1340. DOI:

Cripps, K., & Habibis, D. (2019). Improving housing and service responses to domestic and family violence for Indigenous individuals and families. Cripps, K. and Habibis, D., Improving housing and service responses to domestic and family violence for Indigenous individuals and families, AHURI Final Report, (320). DOI: 10.18408/ahuri-7116201

David, K. B., Aborode, A. T., Olaoye, D. Q., Enang, N. V., Oriyomi, A. K., & Yunusa, I. (2021). Increased risk of death triggered by domestic violence, hunger, suicide, exhausted health system during COVID-19 pandemic: why, how and solutions. Frontiers in Sociology6, 648395.

Freeman, K. (2018). Is domestic violence in NSW decreasing? NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Ketheesan, S., Rinaudo, M., Berger, M., Wenitong, M., Juster, R. P., McEwen, B. S., & Sarnyai, Z. (2020). Stress, allostatic load and mental health in Indigenous Australians. Stress23(5), 509-518. DOI:

Lehmann, C., Lehmann, J., & Sanders, R. (2018). Missing out: The intergenerational ramifications of current social security arrangements. Children Australia43(3), 163-168. doi:10.1017/cha.2018.35

Lyons, M., & Brewer, G. (2022). Experiences of intimate partner violence during a lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of family violence37(6), 969-977.

Owais, S., Faltyn, M., Johnson, A. V., Gabel, C., Downey, B., Kates, N., & Van Lieshout, R. J. (2020). The perinatal mental health of Indigenous women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry65(3), 149-163. DOI:

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