Family Violence Risk

It refers to a framework used to understand how individuals’ social and political identities affect their discrimination or privilege. Such identities include; gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, language, and class (Bowleg, 2012). The following three factors increase discrimination and inequality.

Geographic Location/ Rural Locality

Geographic location defines the social status of an individual. People who live in very rural areas or very dumpy areas are considered low level. These people’s social position is undermined and what happens is that resource allocation is, in most instances, are unequal between low-status areas and high-status areas. Therefore, those who live in low-status regions continue to be discriminated against resources that may help develop.

Ability/ Disability

Having the ability to perform tasks is advantageous, while being disabled is disadvantageous in society. Disabled people have minimum opportunities that may improve their lives. The primary reason is that society views them as people of no importance. However, organizations that fight for the disabled are on the frontline in pushing for their rights. Even though these people are discriminated and, inequality within them is higher compared to abled people.


It stands for Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer, asexual (aromantic), and other sexual orientations. Inequality and discrimination come in because society is against these people. Even though there are proposed bills to legalize some of these orientations in some countries, culturally, the community does not allow them and perceive them as immoral. For this reason, people in this group are unaccepted and marginalized, thereby being discriminated against and treated unequally.

How the Factors can Amplify Barriers to Disclosure

They can amplify barriers to disclosure of service access in three ways. Firstly, geographical location can pose a challenge of accessing people living in those areas. For instance, in rural areas, transportation of resources to support people living in those areas may be challenging. Secondly, disability creates a notion that disabled people are of no importance. Due to this, it might be a challenge when helping the disabled. In response, organizations fighting for disabled rights try to compete with society to help the disabled, and violence may occur. Thirdly, LGBTIQA+ is something the society is against. Even talking about it in some communities is unethical. Thus, when people fighting for the sexual orientations try to intervene and reduce the practice, society shuns them, which may erupt in violence between them and the community.

Family Violence and the Aboriginal Community

Family violence is discussed in terms of physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, psychological, sexual, and economic abuses that occur to individuals. (Memmott, Stacy, Chambers, & Keys, 2006) conceives the root of family violence among the aboriginal community as the historical, political, social, and cultural environment surrounding them. To break these factors, the significant factors contributing to family violence among the community are; racism, land displacement, low-quality housing and overcrowding, economic marginalization and poverty, and child removal policies.

Besides, inherited grief and trauma and loss of traditional roles for both men and women have contributed. Dhelk Dja defines family violence as non-aboriginal against aboriginal people starting from children, adults, and the extended family. Dhelk Dja also perceives that all forms of family violence must be dealt with through the service system, including police, the justice system, and courts.

How Colonization Impacted Aboriginal Community

The story of colonization within the aboriginal community must be told within the political, social, and cultural aspects. The British arrival in Australia caused physical, covert structural, and psychosocial domination violence (Clark, 2019). To start with the physical violence, colonization caused trauma on top of trauma to the aboriginals. First, the British brought European diseases that caused the death of significantly large numbers of aboriginals. Those who survived suffered starvation as they were denied rights to enter their hunting grounds.

Aboriginals were displaced from their lands in which the settlers used the land for their benefits. Another worst form of physical violence is that women’s abduction and young girls were prevalent, whereby the white settlers sexually harassed them.

The covert structural violence marked the second phase of power in which there was a structural displacement of the aboriginal from their native nation. The dislocation led them to substandard camps whereby legal protectors were formed to guard aboriginals under twenty-one years of age. The protectors used their power abusively and deprived the locals of their self-worth and value in the culture. As violence continued in this phase, the missionaries tried to eradicate the violence described as heathen practices.

The last impact was on psychosocial domination. It encompasses how the aboriginals were seen as people with an inferior culture. Colonization split up aboriginal families since culture is what keeps a family intact. Besides, the aboriginal culture and practices were destroyed and became non-functional. It led to the oppressed losing their self-worth and well-being.

Ongoing Effects of Colonization within the Current Aboriginal Community

The effects of colonization have continued to impact the aboriginal community in a negative way to date. Inequality, racism, and disruption of culture affect the aboriginals (FutureLearn, n.d.). In terms of inequality, economic exclusion, extreme poverty, inadequate housing is still evident within the community. In terms of racism, defamation, displacement from their lands, and removal of child policies are also rising. Lastly, in terms of disruption of culture, women and men’s traditional roles have been lost, breakdown of community customs and functions, and erosion of kingship systems are evident. Furthermore, the community still suffers the inherited trauma and grief.

Victoria Led Initiative for Family Violence Response

To curb family violence among the aboriginal families, the aboriginal community has come up with an initiative called the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF). Through the Family Safety Victoria, the government has provided $1.1 million to enable CIF to fight family violence within the community (Victoria State government, 2020). CIF supports and fund projects that address family violence at a local level. However, these projects must meet specific criteria for them to receive funding from CIF.

The Underpinning Principle of the Initiative

CIF requires all applicants to meet the following requirements. An aboriginal partnership must form them; any project led that is not aboriginal based cannot be funded. The projects should be willing to provide long term benefits to the community. They must also align with the Aboriginal ten year Family Violence Agreement (2018-2028).  The projects must complement other groups serving the same purpose, whether governmental or non-governmental. Besides, they must demonstrate consistency with the goals and objectives developed by Dhelk Dja Action Groups. The objectives revolve around; self-determination, collaboration and partnerships of all projects, healing approaches for cultural and trauma resilience, and transparency and honesty of all parties.


The MARAM Framework

The Ten MARAM Framework Principles

To provide consistent and effective services to people facing family violence, the MARAM Framework underpins some principles that provide a shared understanding of family violence and guides professionals in their work (VIC.GOV.AU, 2020).

  1. Any form of family violence is unacceptable and requires serious risk intervention.
  2. Professionals should work together to provide effective services and should assess violence at its peak to prevent escalation.
  3. Professionals should be aware of factors perpetrating family violence, gender inequality, and discrimination.
  4. During the risk assessment, victims’ dignity must be respected, and they must be viewed as active decision-making participants.
  5. As family violence may have future severe impacts, the survivors must be recognized in their rights as victim-survivors.
  6. Victims who are children should be provided with unique services and needs.
  7. Services provided to aboriginal people should align with their cultural beliefs and show an aspect of safety.
  8. Services provided to diverse communities, and older people should be culturally based, safe, non-discriminatory, and client-centered.
  9. Violence perpetrators should be encouraged to end their violent behavior by creating opportunities for their accountability.
  10. Family violence for adolescents should be solved through a different approach from that of adults because of the age difference.

Influence of MARAM Framework Principles

The principles are influential in several ways. Firstly, they induce safety for people experiencing family violence. Secondly, they ensure anyone involved in violence is being assessed starting from the aboriginal community, diverse communities, and children, young and older people across all identities. They also keep perpetrators knowing they are accountable for their actions. Lastly, the principles ensure professionals are effective in their duties, and they respect victims’ dignity.

The MARAM Framework is embedded under the newly formed Part 11 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The law states that any organization providing services related to family violence, risk assessment, and management should make sure they align themselves with the MARAM Framework’s principles.

Responsibilities that Apply to all Relevant Professionals

Six responsibilities apply to all professionals. They include; understanding the nature and dynamics of family violence and facilitating a safe, culturally responsive environment. Identifying indicators of family violence and the most affected families. Seek consultation from family violence specialists to facilitate collaborative risk assessment and management. Share information related to risk assessment and management with other authorized entities. Contribute to coordinated risk management, and lastly, stay equipped to ensure continuity of risk assessment and management.

Responsibilities that apply to professionals at the intermediate level are two. They include; staff to ensure they can competently and confidently deal with intermediate-risk assessment within children and adult victims. Secondly, staff should have immediate risk and safety concerns for adults and child victims and undertake intermediate-risk management such as safety planning.

Responsibilities for professionals at a comprehensive level are two. They include; ensure specialist staff for family violence is trained about comprehensive risk assessment for both children and adults and those who work with perpetrators. Secondly, ensure the specialists in family violence are trained on risk management through safety plans.

Information Sharing

The Victorian government has introduced two reforms aimed at protecting children and reducing family violence. The first one is the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS). It enables organizations prescribed for children’s safety to share information that enhances the well-being of children. The scheme requires only authorized organizations to participate and all Victorian children and teenagers under eighteen. The other reform is the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS). It allows approved organizations to share information concerning family violence on risk assessment and management techniques. The intent behind this scheme is to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators of violence accountable. In general, the two law reforms aim at ensuring reduced family violence, inequality, and discrimination.


Bowleg, L. (2012). The problem with the phrase women and Minorities: Intersectionality—an important theoretical framework for public health. American Journal of Public Health102(7), 1267-1273. doi:10.2105/ajph.2012.300750

Clark, D. (2019, January 10). The impact of colonization on Aboriginal people. Retrieved from

FutureLearn. (n.d.). The continuing impact of colonization. Retrieved from

Memmott, P., Stacy, R., Chambers, C., & Keys, C. (2006). Violence in Indigenous communities. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e670082010-001

VIC.GOV.AU. (, 2020). The MARAM framework. Retrieved from

Victoria State government. (, 2020). Victorian Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund. Retrieved from