The statistics around violence against Aboriginal women and their children are shocking.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 5 times more likely to be victims of homicide than other Australian women. More than half (55 per cent) of these homicides are related to family violence.
Aboriginal women constitute 34% of the female prison population and are only 2% of the general population.
87% of Victorian Aboriginal women in prison are themselves a victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
Aboriginal children are taken from their families by child services at 9 times the rate of non-indigenous children.
For nearly 50 years, Elizabeth Morgan House has been defending our women from the ongoing trauma of colonisation with its the forced removal of children, systemic racism and violence. These are more than statistics to us, we see them played out everyday.
Elizabeth Morgan House has launched a new look as we ramp up our efforts to uphold and defend the rights of Aboriginal women and children in Victoria.
Often, we find ourselves struggling alone, the only ones standing with our women against the discriminatory system, unrecognised for our role and our ability to break the cycle of trauma. This organisational refresh reaffirms our commitment to put women and their children at the centre of what we do, no matter what.
EMH believes in safe spaces for women wherever they are on their journey. Our services are designed to uphold the self-determination of our women, whenever and however they choose to connect to:
- Family violence services such as culturally-safe case management
- Pre and post release support for Aboriginal women leaving incarceration
- Crisis response, including the provision of a Victoria’s only high-security refuge for Aboriginal women
- Therapeutic services for wellbeing and counselling
We also defend Aboriginal women and children’s right to self-determination through advocacy and sector development, including Rainbow tick and MARAM training.
‘Every contact with Aboriginal women and children matters. Every time they are in contact with police, the courts, family law or family violence services, the potential for further harm is very real. Specialist services create safe spaces for Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women heal Aboriginal women through their strength, their community and their knowledge of what works for them,’ says EMH CEO Kalina Morgan-Whyman.
We all have a right to live our lives free from violence.
We need to work together to include Aboriginal women in working towards a future that is free from gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination that denies their rights.
EMH has also moved to new corporate offices and is beginning construction on an Aboriginal Women's Hub at our Clarke St property.
Elizabeth Morgan House will continue to represent Victorian Aboriginal women, children and those who feel comfortable using a woman’s service as a peak body. For more information on what we do and how we can be involved visit emhaws.org.au.