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Aboriginal women’s experiences with intimate partner sexual violence and the dangerous lives they live as a result of victimization
journal contributionposted on 13.03.2019, 00:00 by Marika GuggisbergMarika Guggisberg
Considerable research has documented the seriousness of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence, which has been found to affect Aboriginal women disproportionally. In addition, rates of intimate homicides are five times higher for Aboriginal women than non-Aboriginal women. Intimate Partner Sexual Violence tends to have a particular capacity to attack the identity of victimized women because of the multiple forms of violence experienced at the same time. This study investigated the nature of violence experienced by a current or former intimate partner. Participants were adult females who identified as Aboriginal Australians. Findings indicated high levels of sexual victimization and potentially lethal violence. Aboriginal women reported to have been subjected to threats to kill, attempts of strangulation, having been threatened with a weapon, and frequent forced sexual intercourse. Fear and anger appeared to explain women’s resistance against the experienced violence. Frontline intervention policy developers and practitioners may implement specific protective measures in recognition of the increased danger Aboriginal women face. Barriers should be removed to address victimization in a culturally sensitive way. It is imperative to retain an empathic understanding, demonstrate cultural competency and openness when providing assistance and support.