Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The rate of sexual violence is disproportionately higher for Aboriginal people, who are 2.7 times likely to experience sexual assault than non-Aboriginal people. This is related to the overall inequity and disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal people. It is therefore important that the Framework acknowledge this disparity, and takes a holistic approach to prevention and addressing sexual violence that recognised the needs of the Aboriginal community,

Key points:

  • It is important to acknowledge that despite the higher rates of sexual violence in Aboriginal communities, this is not normal or customary behaviour compared with non-Aboriginal communities, and that it does not occur in every community and experienced by all Aboriginal people.
  • To understand and prevent sexual violence in Aboriginal communities, the Framework should seek to elevate the position of women in communities within defined structures and institutions e.g. leadership, education and employment including the development of locally-led, targeted leadership and employment programs.
  • To support and respond to children, young people and adults who have experienced sexual violence in Aboriginal communities, the Framework should advocate for funding to be restored to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to provide remote outreach services, and that communities/health services have a say in how this service is designed and delivered.
  • Social and economic disadvantage is a major factor in sexual assault across the world, both for victims and people who commit assaults. For people who are sexually assaulted this may include: low education attainment and lack of economic empowerment.
  • Support for family and community cohesion is central to addressing sexual violence in Aboriginal communities. This requires action across the full range of social determinants through a whole-ofgovernment commitment. For example, early childhood development and learning, primary and secondary education accompanied by psychosocial support measures (e.g. positive role models, healthy activities); support for workforce participation and development of skills; healthy relationships and community participation, and alcohol control are all measures that can strengthen social and emotional wellbeing and prevent sexual violence.
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