Alcohol management and alcohol-related family violence in Indigenous North-West Australia
Unacceptable rates of violence, assault, early death and avoidable illness in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations of the East Kimberley region of Western Australia have complex associations with increasing levels of alcohol misuse. In the Kimberley, the estimated per capita consumption of alcohol is far higher than the national annual average. Police data in Kununurra and the surrounding region illustrate the extremity of the problem of alcohol misuse and related harm, including family violence. This paper discusses some of the research findings related to the impacts of alcohol on the incidence and trends of family violence experienced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in this region. The multiple victims of a small cohort of perpetrators of violence and the spatial and temporal attributes revealed by the data demonstrate the scale and severity of family violence for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population over a ten year period (2009-2019). These finding form part of an Australian Research Council Discovery project ‘Alcohol management in Indigenous north Australia: policies and responses’. The research used a multidisciplinary research approach aimed at better understanding how alcohol restrictions, whether developed by communities or imposed by governments, are implemented and managed by communities.
Aboriginal community connect is a culturally specific, trauma informed, Alcohol and other drugs service. We work from a strength-based and family and culturally focused approach to treatment by providing AOD, mental health, family and financial counselling, case management and a combination of clinical and cultural group work and activates.