The team from QCDFVR, CQUniversity Mackay and local stakeholders including the Mackay Domestic Violence Service, Torque Orthodontist and Rosemary Kirkland Dental recently donated a variety of goods for our ‘Crisis Care Pack’ campaign to be donated to our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Stakeholders and friends.
Here’s a sneak peek of Annabel, Margaret & Lauren hard at work putting the packs together ready for distribution. Thank you to everyone for their donations and Margaret our wonderful administration officer for coordinating the campaign.
New ways of working: Queensland Gendered Violence Practitioner Forum
Wednesday 1st November & Thursday 2nd November 2017: Hilton, Brisbane
Queensland’s policy and practice landscape has changed dramatically in the past two years, as is reflected in the Queensland Women’s Strategy, the Not Now, Not Ever- Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016-2026 and the Queensland Violence Against Women Prevention Plan.
The Queensland Gendered Violence Practitioner Forum, hosted by QCDFVR is designed for practitioners who are working in the fields of gendered violence, including those who work with victims/ survivors, families, and children affected by domestic, family and sexual violence, and perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence.
Individuals and organisations are invited to submit an abstract to deliver a 20-minute oral presentation, which addresses one or more of the Forum themes. The abstract should be no more than 200 words and outline the aim, content and conclusion of the presentation. An author biography of no more than 200 words is also required at the time of submission.
All proposals will be de-identified and reviewed by the organising group of sector representatives. Presentations will be selected to provide a program that offers a comprehensive and diverse coverage of issues related to the Forum themes. Receipt of authors’ submissions will be acknowledged by email, and authors will be advised by email of the outcome of their abstract submission (accepted, pending or not accepted).
Abstracts are sought for 20 minute toolkit presentations on the following concepts:
• Working with Women
• Working with Sexual Violence/Abuse
• Working with Children/Families
• Working with Fathers
There will be three presentations per concept = total of 60 minutes per session Presenters stay “on stage” to form a panel to respond to questions = 30 minutes has been allocated for audience engagement in question-and-answer session.
Terms and Conditions
Upon notification of acceptance of abstract, authors will be required to accept their invitation and register their attendance. A discounted registration fee will be offered to presenters. The deadline for confirmation and payment of registration fee is Monday 18th September 2017.
Presenters will have their abstract published in conference material, including but not limited to the conference blog, book of abstracts, email promotion, website and Forum Handbook.
All abstracts must be original work. The author is responsible for the accuracy of the abstract.
All submissions must be completed electronically and submitted via email to email@example.com. If you are unable to submit in this manner, please contact QCDFVR on 07 4940 3340.
The latest edition of the QCDFVRe@der is now available via pdfhere or issuu here.
Inside this issue you will find:
The Director’s Report
Legislative changes and information sharing without consent
‘Just wait until you get home whore’: Gendered partner violence, stalking and the lasting effects of women victims
Centering structure care in the effort to end violence
Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum at a glance
Abstract submissions for the New ways of working: Queensland Gendered Violence Practitioner Forum (in Brisbane), open Monday 3rd July 2017. Download an application form here or for further information about the forum visit the event page.
This year’s theme Our Languages Matter is to emphasise the important role language plays in the cultural identity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Story and song have been a constant means to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their land and to share their history, their spirituality and their rites. Today only 120 of the estimated 250 distinct Indigenous language groups that once existed throughout Australia, are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on (NAIDOC, 2017).
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages are not just a means of communication, they express knowledge about everything: law, geography, history, family and human relationships, philosophy, religion, anatomy, childcare, health, caring for country, astronomy, biology and food” (A. Martin, NAIDOC, 2017). The interruption of cultural practices and subsequent loss of language through Colonisation; has been linked to the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in statistics on interpersonal violence (ANROWS, 2014). NAIDOC week is a time to acknowledge and reflect on the many achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but also to look at the journey we have in front of us, on the path to equality.
Celebrating and nurturing the 120 languages that continue to exist in Australia today, is not only essential to the preservation of a priceless cultural treasure, but could be considered an important piece of the puzzle in addressing domestic and family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“The preservation and revitalisation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages – the original languages of this nation – is the preservation of priceless treasure, not just for Indigenous peoples, but for everyone” (B. Mitchell, NAIDOC.org.au, 2017).
For further information about NAIDOC Week or to find out about activities through Queensland please visit http://www.naidoc.org.au/
In a month which saw us gathering in Cairns for the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum (Our Keys to Healing) we recognise the importance of National Reconciliation Week in the context of the major challenges that confront domestic and family violence response services. The stories told at the forum of communities in remote and isolated locations and the courage and determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had major implications for addressing gaps in our society. In terms of National Reconciliation Week, the theme ‘Let’s take the next steps’ highlights the issues of inequality, poverty, racism and Indigenous rights which urgently need a holistic societal approach. We value our relationship with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and look forward to supporting them and taking their next steps.
In peace and kindness
Associate Professor Annabel Taylor
For further information please visit https://www.reconciliation.org.au/
“Today, intimate photos are increasingly being distributed online, potentially reaching thousands, even millions of people, with a click of a mouse” (Citron and Franks, 2015, p. 350)
Interactive pornographic websites allow people to easily share pornographic images with or without consent. Non-consensual cyber-distribution of sexual images has been referred to as ’technology-facilitated abuse’, or ‘revenge-porn’. This relatively new trend allows people to upload photos and videos onto the internet, which can be undertaken with or without the consent of the person depicted.
Before the development of internet technology, the distribution of sexually explicit images was limited. Consequently, harm that was caused was different as the pictures were usually in the hands of a small group of individuals. This changed with the purpose-built websites, which have mushroomed over the past several years. Many websites have specifically been created, which encourage former intimate partners to upload sexual images without consent. These pictures are not only obtained through ‘selfies’, but also via illegal means, (e.g., hacking into email, social networking sites or computers, and also with hidden cameras). Revenge-porn appears to be a significant problem with an estimated one in 10 women or girls being affected (Romano, 2013).
The intent of posting revenge-porn images and videos is to publicly shame and humiliate the person who is depicted. These images and videos are usually posted with links to victims’ social media profiles and emerge in Google search results, which have significant negative impacts (Citron and Franks, 2015).
Sexual double standards and victim-blaming
As with other forms of violence against women and children, revenge-porn is not an exclusive problem for women, but women are disproportionately affected (Woodlock, 2015). Emerging stories suggest that females use the same revenge-porn websites and techniques, which indicates a need for further research to understand patterns, motives and outcomes.
Female victims experience severe consequences, also as a result of society’s double standards and victim-blaming attitudes. Read Bekah Wells’ story that highlights the severe nature of revenge-porn and harm caused by those who uncritically take the perpetrator’s side:
As a victim of Revenge Porn, I am not victimized one time. I am victimized every time someone types my name into the computer. The crime scene is right before everyone’s eyes, played out again and again, and, ironically, I am treated as if I am the one who has committed the crime. I am victimized every time someone tells me that it’s my fault because I consented to the taking of the photos. But when someone shifts the blame to me, do you know what I say? I say, “Congratulations, because that’s exactly what the perpetrator wants you to think. He wants you to think I am the dumb whore who makes poor decisions. (Romano, 2013)
Victimised women often feel discouraged to seek help. Despite feeling frightened, isolated, degraded and humiliated, they may internalise victim-blaming attitudes, which is likely reinforced by those around them. Women who are victimised by revenge-porn tend to be judged by family, friends, and criminal justice officials who suggest that they should be ashamed to have been involved in the production of such pictures and videos in the first place. This women-blaming attitude shifts responsibility onto the victim, which is an all too common occurrence and neglects to acknowledge harms inflicted by the perpetrator.
Multiple and significant impacts – Experienced Harm
A major myth concerning revenge-porn is that the harm caused is trivial. Misguided assumptions prevail about the impact of revenge-porn. Having sexually explicit pictures posted online is devastating and can have a significant negative impact on the victimised person’s emotional wellbeing, private and professional reputation and financial security. It is not surprising then that many experience high levels of prolonged distress, anxiety and depression with suicidal ideation. Often, women also suffer, not only public shaming and humiliation, but also social isolation because interpersonal relationships are impacted (Woodlock, 2015).
The relationship with intimate partner violence
Revenge porn also plays an important role in intimate partner violence (Citron and Franks, 2015). Perpetrators use technology to extend their coercive control to reinforce their power (e.g. making threats of disclosure as a means of control). Women victims report experiencing sexual coercion in relation to sexting and/or producing videos of sexual activities, which suggests that the production of intimate images themselves is the consequence of intimate partner violence (IPV). Much anecdotal evidence exists that women are pressured into participating in ‘DIY-porn’ where the male partner insists on keeping the videos in his possession. It is not surprising then, that women fear that their intimate partners carry out their threat of posting the intimate images. This keeps them trapped in the abusive/violent relationship and results in feelings of powerlessness. Consequently, it is fair to argue that revenge-porn is strongly related to IPV, which extends the abusive partner’s power and control with the use of contemporary technology.
Criminalising Revenge Porn
Some professionals believe that to deter people from posting sexually explicit images onto the internet requires legislation that makes this behaviour a criminal offence. Criminalisation may send a clear message in relation to revenge porn. As a matter of fact, Victoria criminalised revenge porn in 2013, while South Australia introduced legislation in October 2016. Western Australia was the third state that implemented specific legislation. Changes to the Restraining Orders and Related Legislation Amendment (Family Violence) Bill 2016, were made to now include the distribution of sexually explicit images without consent. Furthermore, New South Wales announced the intention to introduce revenge porn legislation. However, what is really needed is legislation at a Federal rather than State and Territory level.
Revenge porn is a relatively new phenomenon. It has often devastating harmful effects on victims because of the potential to distribute images and videos over mass communication devices. Growing evidence suggests a close link to intimate partner violence. Abused women feel entrapped due to blackmail and may feel discouraged from seeking help. Criminalisation of revenge-porn provides a clear message that such behaviour is unacceptable and punishable by law. Stigma and victim-blaming attitudes need to be challenged. One way to shift community attitudes is with legislative changes that communicate a need for perpetrators to be held accountable. This will, hopefully, also assist victims to come forward instead of suffering in silence.
Citron DK & Franks MA 2015, ‘Criminalizing Revenge Porn’, Wake Forest Law Review, vol. 49, pp. 345-391.
Woodlock D, 2015, ReCharge: Women’s Technology Safety, Legal Resources, Research and Training, viewed, 14 December 2016, http://www.smartsafe.org.au/sites/default/files/ReCharge-national-study-findings-2015.pdf
Romano A, 2013, ‘Revenge porn isn’t illegal everywhere, but victims can still fight back’, The Daily Dot, 16 October, viewed 10 February 2017, https://www.dailydot.com/crime/revenge-porn-how-to-fight-back/
Help is available
Women can receive assistance by contacting the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service, 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Further information is available here: www.cybercivilrights.org and http://www.withoutmyconsent.org
Dr Marika Guggisberg is a psychotherapist, sexologist and academic. She has over 20 years experience working with children, adults and families involved with family violence including sexual abuse. Amongst other professional affiliations, she is a member of the Society of Australian Sexologists and has served on the committee of the WA Branch since 2013. She has joined CQU Perth in February this year and looks forward to contributing to research that is further examining issues of family violence including revenge porn.
Earlier this month the Pullman Reef Hotel in Cairns was the inspiring backdrop for some insightful presentations and extensive networking and we thank everyone who joined the QCDFVR team in planning and delivering the 2017 Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum.
We are grateful for the support of our sponsors, partners and friends and in particular acknowledge the Working Group:
Mr Charles Passi, QCDFVR Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group
Ms Shirley Slann, QCDFVR Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group
Ms Maj-Lis Dalton, Senior Police Liaison Officer, Queensland Police
Ms Wynetta Dewis, General Manager, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
Mr Joseph Oui, Social & Emotional Wellbeing Counsellor Male, Apunipima Cape York
Mr Carle Williams, Mens & Male Youth Facilitator, Wuchopperen Health Service Limited
For those who weren’t able to attend, here’s what you missed:
A meet and greet by the pool on Tuesday night,
A warm Welcome to Country by Gudju Gudju on Wednesday morning,
A greeting from QCDFVR Director Associate Professor Annabel Taylor,
Domestic and Family Violence: research from the ground up
Presented by Associate Professor Hillary Haldane
original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives…
Australian Bureau of Statistics
In this presentation Associate Professor Hillary Haldane explores responses to domestic and family violence through an applied research lens… this is, indeed, research “from the ground up”…
CQUniversity Cairns Campus
Cnr Shields St & Abbott St
Cairns Qld 4870
10:00am – 11:30am, Tuesday 9th May 2017
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact QCDFVR on 4940 3320.