BOTH men and women in the local Aboriginal community have taken a stand against domestic violence with separate workshops with caseworkers from the NSW Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV).
“We look at all aspects of domestic violence; what it is, what it does, and things we can do to stop it,” Pam Greer from the EVAC explained.
“And it’s also about providing resources and information so people know where to go for assistance and guidance.”
The two day workshops, organised by the Tobwobba Medical Centre, were delivered to women and men separately but enforced the idea that domestic violence is not merely a women’s issue.
“More men are coming to the realisation that it is an issue that affects them and their community and not just women,” Pam said.
Domestic violence is not just an issue for the Aboriginal community with the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics revealing that of 140 local government areas in NSW the Great Lakes is ranked 18th for instances of domestic violence.
A whole community approach is required and the Aboriginal community is determined to play a leading role according to Jye Simon who attended the workshop.
“We’re against domestic violence, that’s why we’re here. We’ve got young guys as well as some of the older blokes here together educating themselves, learning about what we can do, the nature of domestic violence how it goes beyond just the physical stuff and the way it affects us all.”
The educational program was a first for the area with more set to follow in the future.
“We’ve had these types of workshops to educate workers before, but this is the first time we’ve conducted workshops specifically for community members,” Tanya Simon from Tobwobba Medical Centre said.