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No More Silence: It’s Never Too Late to Start Healing
This video started with a conversation. Anthony Newcastle and I and our colleague Gordon Glenbar were discussing how to reach out and offer support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have been sexually abused in childhood. Many of these men have told us privately and professionally that they will never speak publicly about what was done to them, how difficult it is to access support, how they do not know who to trust, and how they are unsure if healing is even possible.
The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted the high rates of sexual abuse of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander childrenwithin government and church run institutions and community settings, and the need to improve responses. Many Australian First Nation communities are dealing with the legacy of colonization, the forced removal from ancestral lands, the placement on missions, the fracturing of clan groups, the denial of language and culture, the stolen generations, and resulting inter-generational traumas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 2-4 times more likely to be sexually abused in childhood, 6 times more likely to die by suicide, and male life expectancy is reduced by10.8 years.
It is in this context that the conversation about raising awareness and improving support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have been sexually abused was started.
- By Gary Foster, Living Well
Discussions at Didgeri
Every second Sunday I run ‘Didgeri’ at an inner city park in Brisbane. Didgeri is an Aboriginal men’s didgeridoo group. Didgeri has between 9 and 15 men. Didgeri is a place where we as Aboriginal men gather and learn the didgeridoo wind instrument as a way to connect or re-connect with culture and heritage. It is also a place where we talk about community, identity, culture, raising kids, problems, family, and being a good dad or husband. No alcohol or drugs, no carry on.
The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.
1in6's mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.
The views expressed above are not necessarily those of the Joyful Heart Foundation or 1in6.