Groups work to help our most vulnerable

COMMON GOAL: Raylene Harradine and Cheryl Munzel. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

COMMON GOAL: Raylene Harradine and Cheryl Munzel. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

Two Bendigo organisations will work together to combat the grim reality of domestic violence against aboriginal women. 

The Centre for Non-Violence and the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday to pledge their partnership in tackling the issue.

The updated document redefines how the organisations will work together to support local victims and educate the community. 

BDAC interim chief executive Raylene Harradine said the partnership gave women a broader choice of where to turn to when they needed support.

"This way they have options because it's so clear women can't do it on their own," she said.

Aboriginal women are 14 times more likely to be killed by a partner. 

However Ms Harradine said it was often non-aboriginal men killing aboriginal women - something that needed to be addressed within the wider community.   

"Family violence is not part of aboriginal culture but it does spread right across communities. Drugs and alcohol are key factors when it comes to violence against women," she said. 

Centre for Non-Violence client services manager Cheryl Munzel said violence was often caused because of mixed values and attitudes. She said with recent government cuts, it was important to keep calling for funding and working together to ensure support was available.

Ms Harradine said ultimately, the organisations were looking to incorporate a whole family approach to domestic violence.

"It's all about education and at the end of the day, it goes back to the community," she said.

"While it is never going to stop entirely, we can make sure we have the services available to help assist people when they need it the most."

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