Support Aboriginal women escaping family violence

Australia is facing a national crisis of violence against women.

Here in Victoria, Aboriginal women are 45 times more likely to experience family violence than other women.

And the number of Aboriginal women seeking support continues to rise – Djirra experienced a 22% surge in demand in the first three months of this year alone.

While violence against Aboriginal women is increasing, and we are already devastatingly over-represented in family and sexual violence statistics, our frontline services and community-led solutions remain critically underfunded.

This is why we URGENTLY need your help with a tax-deductible donation this end of financial year.

Last financial year, Djirra impacted the lives of thousands of Aboriginal women across Melbourne and regional Victoria, through our critical services:

  • Legal assistance including support for family violence intervention orders, child protection, family law and victims of crime
  • 1:1 case management
  • Counselling
  • Koori Women’s Place, a culturally safe service that provides food, clothing and ongoing support
  • Cultural events and our signature prevention and early intervention programs including Dilly Bag, Sisters Day Out and Young Luv

Will you help Djirra continue our work, and provide crucial support to Aboriginal women and children experiencing family violence?

Melinda’s Story

Melinda*, an Aboriginal woman with three children, endured a series of violent assaults by her former partner over five years.

During one incident, Victoria Police was called. Police questioned both Melinda and her ex-partner separately. Based on this short assessment, Melinda was arrested, denied bail and remanded to Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

Djirra’s Prison Support Program team met with Melinda and quickly ascertained that she had been misidentified as the person using violence. The team immediately began supporting and advocating for her.

Melinda was released from prison shortly afterwards.

As well as needing legal support, it was clear that Melinda was traumatised by the violence and her interactions with police. Melinda was linked in with Djirra’s case management team and the Koori Women’s Place (KWP). An immediate counselling appointment was made available and KWP staff provided the wraparound cultural contact that is crucial to the safety and wellbeing of our women.

As an outcome of Djirra’s advice and support, Melinda sought an intervention order (IVO) protecting her and her children from her former partner. She initiated proceedings to have her children returned to her care and took up the offer of ongoing counselling, case management and cultural support.

Over the course of the next few months, Melinda had her children returned to her care, a long-term IVO was granted, and compensation was awarded through the VOCAT tribunal. Melinda is still engaged with Djirra services and is feeling safe, supported and positive about her future.

*This story has been de-identified

Check out some of the amazing work your donation could contribute to!