Action based on scientific theory:
This report will take a critical look at the implementation of a family violence intervention program at an indigenous community. The report will assess and analyze several parameters and factors including violence committed by male members of the family and how to reduce the same. ethical sensitivities of the community and it is safe and appropriate for the community keeping in mind the trauma they have been inflicted across generations. The broad contours of the program will be discussed It will also assess how this program may be implemented in a manner that does not hurt the cultural or and the approach adopted.
Also some sections of the society may feel the program is not necessary as the trauma inflicted on the indigenous or aboriginal community is a historical fact with no modern relevance. There is a need to rationally confront such view points as it is ignorant and insensitive and needs to be explained as such with positive arguments. Hence this report on the implementation of the community program and its associated arguments and justifications are of critical importance. This is necessary for defense and upholding of aboriginal human rights and promoting their integration into mainstream society and rehabilitation. The program, since it is aimed at prevention of male violence and atrocity, has a potential role in ensuring women’s rights and implementing gender justice. Hence this is an extremely sensitive and relevant program whose implementation will have multiple downstream benefits on the society, both indigenous and others.
This section will outline the appropriate methodology I adopted as a community worker to implement the family violence intervention program that will be acceptable to the indigenous community. It will be designed in a manner that will be acceptable to the community and will be sensitive to their ethical consciousness, safety and sensitivity. The program will be implemented in a scientific and rational manner which will be based on modern scientific techniques and methodologies. The first and foremost cause for domestic violence is the widespread problem of the substance abuse issue (Williams, 2001). This is a major problem that leaves both physical and psychological scar on the victim. The male is usually the person who abuses narcotics and other substances like alcohol, and this causes them to lose their moral compass. Hence domestic violence is often the result of substance abuse (W.H.O, 1960). This problem has to be solved. Hence a program of counseling will be initiated by me in partnership with other stakeholders like law enforcement and psychologists. It is necessary to create a safe space for everybody involved when the issue is as sensitive as domestic violence and substance abuse. It needs to be remembered that community elders play a significant role in the family life of the indigenous tribes. The law enforcement department should be involved in a strategic way so as not to appear threatening but to collect intelligence as there are anti-social elements involved who supply the substances that are abused. But it should be done with safety and dignity of the people in mind.
I will rope in the community elders to create a safe space. So as the law enforcement gathers critical intelligence in a non-threatening manner, there has to be counseling session that I will arrange for both the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. I will implement a holistic approach to address the substance abuse problem and the subsequent domestic violence. The counseling session will focus on healing of the psychologically and physically traumatized victims of domestic abuse. As mentioned, the indigenous tribes are very sensitive about their communities. Hence any intervention will have to be community driven event and no one should go knocking on individual houses (UN, 2009). This may create mistrust and defeat the entire purpose. Outreach of any kind must be mediated by leaders of the tribe and community elders who are respected and obeyed (UN, 2011).
There are cultural issues here that I need to keep in mind while I design and implement the program. Hence the stakeholders will have to be clearly identified and partnership established. The program will not be successful unless productive collaboration and partnership established between different stakeholders like community elder, me the social worker, psychologists and law enforcement (Nyström, 2018). As the healing process begins, it is important not to stereotype any one community or gender as abuser or with similar kind of negative branding (Aronson, 2013). It is derogatory and not true, it will defeat the entire purpose of the program. Instead I intend to treat everybody with the respect they deserve and according dignity to the indigenous community members will make the program successful.
Research has shown that children, who did not develop in a psychologically stable manner, do not grow up to be adult with stable psychological profile. Hence any program to prevent male violence against women has to focus on children if it has to be successful in the long run (Kaur & Garg, 2008). If the father is a perpetrator of domestic violence, it causes trauma and scars the psyche of children, who in turn becomes someone who performs domestic abuse. This vicious cycle needs to be broken and the child needs to be healed with proper counseling and education. It is not an easy task and will need a lot of community efforts for a long period of time. Hence I need to establish a program that can be self sustaining. Research shows that I need to develop community leaders who take responsibility of reporting child victims of trauma and coordinate with child protection agencies to rehabilitate them. According to research there are several causes of high incidence of violence in indigenous communities. These include marginalization and dispossession loss of land and traditional culture, poverty, racism , drug and alcohol abuse , forced westernization that creates removal of traditional male role in the aboriginal societies that is reflected in violence and dominance of women (Australian government, 2002). These are not easy issues to solve and address in a community program. However these need to be acknowledged.
Intergenerational layers of trauma and severe unresolved grief is an important contributor of propensity towards domestic violence. Many indigenous people do suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (Nathanson, 2012). As I implement this sensitive community program this reality based on historical issues need to be kept in mind. It has been reported by social scientists that to survive over generations and many years of victimhood, the indigenous people have involuntarily internalized and suppressed their feelings of intense grief and despair (Leary, 2015). Trauma needs to be understood not in terms of individual people, or any particular family, but n terms of whole communities. And these are in many cases expressed as domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse (Roxanne, 2015). These communities have suffered for many years the trauma of oppression and neglect.
The scar of genocides, massacres and the degrading behavior inflicted on their families are still a psychological burden on their fragile minds (Ng, 2015). Scientists have inferred that the indigenous people carry the psychological burden of not being properly allowed to grieve, the starvation caused due to dispossession, the sexual and psychological brutality and the forced removal to reserves and institutions (Amy, 2017). These are the basis for lot of anguish and I need to be aware and sensitive to these issues. Hence I should not seem to impose anything, but should appear as a benefactor who wants the best for their communities and families. The understanding of their causes of trauma will allow for effective counseling and healing with the help of all the stakeholders as mentioned previously.
Simultaneously as part of the community program, several sub programs need to be established which I intend to do. Before describing those programs I need to clear few issues. These are that those who commit violence against women are criminals and should be treated as such. One needs to bring the perpetrators of violence into the criminal justice system and they should be punished according to law (WHO, 2015). However this is not enough keeping in mind the difficult history of the indigenous communities and their sense of victimhood. There needs to be a healing touch approach to solve this. Punishing the perpetrators with heavy hands without community outreach program will solve the bigger social problem; instead it will exacerbate it, making it worse. The purpose of my violence prevention program is not to fuel the victim hood and trauma, but to solve a genuine problem. Hence together with the appropriate measures from the criminal justice systems few subprograms need to be developed.
The first program is the support program. There are multiple layers of trauma involved in these kinds of scenarios. The first support exercise needs to be designed for the victim and any children involved. They are the first priority. However support program should also be developed for the perpetrator and the entire extended family and community. It has to be kept in mind the entire community suffers and becomes a victim of this kind of violent behavior. Hence the support for all the stakeholders needs to be considered and implemented. There has to be a holistic approach to this for well being of everybody involved. The second program that needs to be developed as part of the overall program is the identity program. It has to be kept in mind that domestic violence stems from lack of self worth or self value. The cause of lack of self worth among indigenous community members have been described in the previous section of this report. This identity program will aim at bringing back this lack of self worth. These will be done by use of therapy based programs that may draw from spiritual practices or psychological counseling. Both of these are powerful techniques that have the potential to transform lives. This program aims to alter the underlying causes of the violence being perpetrated. Hence a holistic approach is adopted to deal with trauma and violence. hence the issue of generational trauma will be addressed by creation of this group and similar others.
The other subgroup that needs to be created is the group for behavioral change. As this kind of violence is usually perpetrated by men, this support group will be created to bring about gradual change in men’s behavior. Complementary group and support services will be formed for women and youth to make the strategy all encompassing and holistic. As part of this program I will also have to create shelter and safe place for women and children who are victims. There has to be a safe place where the victims must be relocated for them unless a resolution of their situation is achieved. Another subprogram that will be created will be justice program which are mainly aimed at dispute resolution have punishment mechanisms embedded as well. These punishments are culturally appropriate, that include circle sentencing and stops recidivism. As mentioned previously, there has to be education and counseling to raise awareness regarding male violence. This is mandatory and I will have to implement these programs in order to achieve long term benefits.
Male violence is a human rights issue along with an aspect of equality and gender justice issue. This is coupled with intergenerational trauma and distress. This makes it a complicated problem to solve. However my program aims to achieve that with compassion and sensitivity. Counseling and rehabilitation is an important aspect of that (Fleming, 2015). There are several international treaties that spell out the nature and contour of these issues. The program will have to be implemented with appropriate benchmarks and outcomes that need to be achieved. It has to be balanced with aboriginal customary laws and human rights laws of the land. The laws should not supersede each other, as that may create problems and cause further erosion of trust between indigenous communities and others. Hence the program will balance legal issues, while at the same time providing long term benefits and justice to victims of violence and trauma.
There is a tendency in people to rationalize the victimhood by suggesting they occurred in the past and should not concern the modern times. However this is not true and this line of argument should be countered with appropriate facts and critique. Atkinson and others have critically assessed the effect of genocide and mass murder of indigenous people (Jessica, 2005), which is still part of generational trauma of the victims. This creates a lot of psychological issues in indigenous people (Cohen, 1999). The effect being innocent women and children suffer for no fault of theirs. This is gross violation of human rights because of the past action of the settlers. This needs to be recognized for healing to take place (ICRC, 2004). Hence trivializing the trauma of indigenous people by claiming the past has no bearing on the present is insensitive and not very well formed argument.
Also the past injustice plays into the narrative of economic dominance. It has been observed in the case of African Americans in the United States (Burt, 2012). They are marginalized and restricted to ghettos. The same is true for indigenous communities. In order to provide them with justice, the historical wrong needs to be acknowledged and addressed. This will ensure reconciliation and will prevent subsequent generations of indigenous people being a victim of cycle of violence and trauma. As modern nation state, it is critical to ensure this human rights of indigenous people in order to prevent further anguish and distress. Hence it is unfair to trivialize the trauma of stolen generation and colonization.
The indigenous people have already been a victim of colonialism and genocide. I, as a community worker intend to develop a program which will prevent male family violence in family violence intervention program. In order to develop this program I have assessed the underlying social and psychological issues that drive this kind of anti-social behavior. Hence I have addressed those issues in a compassionate and rational manner. There has to be involvement of multiple stakeholders, like law enforcement, criminal justice system, community elders, tribal leaders, counselors, psychologists and policymakers in order to make this program successful. These are not easy problems to solve; hence I will have to adopt a strict approach where necessary. It needs to be kept in mind that people who inflict violence are criminals and need to be treated as such. However one needs to treat the underlying causes to, and that I have done as part of this program. I have also addressed arguments that trivialize the pain of the stolen generations and the victims of colonialization and mass genocide. This kind of insensitive argument causes friction and creates a further cycle of trauma and violence. Hence these have to be forcefully countered. I have done that in this report and presented as case for justice and human rights.
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