AbstractSpousal assault, or domestic violence, was brought to international attention in the early 1970s by the women's movement, in Australia as elsewhere. Some twenty years later Government policy is increasingly directed towards addressing this pervasive problem which occurs in as many as one in three household, and costs the community millions of dollars annually.
This paper identifies and explores the policy dimensions of this violence, and establishes a framework for policy development in the Northern Territory. It broadly examines theories of causation and what is known and unknown about incidence, delineates the multi-dimensional issues relating to community attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, and describes barriers to change. It also outlines key intervention models and summarises strategic recommendations of major studies.
Domestic violence initiatives in the Northern Territory since 1983 are traced, culminating with the strategy announced by the Chief Minister in April 1994, and implied policy is drawn together to provide a basis for future policy decision. Interviews with key workers, as well as the former Commissioner of Police and policy advisers, provide insight into the policy process and directions for successful implementation.
Major conclusions derived from the research identify the critical need to specifically address issues of children in violent home situations, to expand "domestic violence" to "family violence", to adopt a whole of government approach with principles to be applied by every department, and to provide for those most "at risk", specifically Aboriginal women and women in violent relationships.
|Date of Award||1994|