Indigenous women united to break cycles of domestic violence

June 6, 2016

stop domestic violenceYugambeh woman Rachael Cavanagh is breaking a long cycle of domestic violence in her family and helping other women to do the same.

Ms Cavanagh’s great grandmother was beaten to death by her husband. Her grandmother and her mother were also victims of domestic violence.

“No-one was charged over my great grandmother’s death, and my mum is a very strong woman but she grew up in an era when women didn’t have a voice,” she said.

“For a lot of our women, that cycle just continues to grow, but I’m breaking that cycle.

“I’ve got a daughter and I don’t want that for her.”

Ms Cavanagh has united with six other Indigenous women in the Clarence Valley of northern New South Wales to form a domestic violence support group called the Djinders.

“Djinders” means “sisters” in Gumbaynggirr language, and most of the co-founders have their own personal experiences of domestic violence.

The Djinders are auspiced by the Grafton Ngerrie Lands Council and are now seeking funding for staff training and a premises where they can operate as a domestic violence support and referral centre.

Longer term they hope to establish some transitional housing for domestic violence victims.

Ms Bancroft said she was confident the Djinders personal experiences with domestic violence would give them a greater understanding of their clients’ needs.

“I can tell women what they can do, how to get the knowledge and keep the family together,” she said.

“I know heaps of people going through it who don’t want to speak up, so maybe I can be their voice.” To read more click here.

The 2016 Stop Domestic Violence Conference will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane. Registrations are now open. To register for the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE. If you would like to speak at the Conference you can submit an abstract here.

Add your Comment