Partnered with a Survivor: David Mandel and Ruth Reymundo Mandel

Season 2 Episode 16: "We have to remember who we are advocating for": An interview with Aboriginal domestic violence leader Ashlee Donohue

September 03, 2021 Ruth Stearns Mandel & David Mandel Season 2 Episode 16
Partnered with a Survivor: David Mandel and Ruth Reymundo Mandel
Season 2 Episode 16: "We have to remember who we are advocating for": An interview with Aboriginal domestic violence leader Ashlee Donohue
Show Notes Transcript

 In this episode, Ruth and David yarn with Ashlee Donohue – a proud Dunghutti woman born and raised in Kempsey, NSW. Ashlee is an Author, Educator, Advocate and speaker around the anti-violence message. Ashlee is currently the CEO of Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Corporation – Women’s Centre,  which is for Aboriginal women run by Aboriginal women.  Ashlee was a keynote speaker  at  the 2021 Safe & Together Institute Asia Pacific Conference  on the burning question of coercive control criminalisation. 

During the interview Ruth  and David talk with Ashlee about: 

  • Her thoughts on  the criminalisation of coercive control in Australia, and the  the pros and cons of this for Aboriginal communities
  • The need for one single defintion of domestic violence 
  • The decision making process for Aboriginal domestic violence survivors accessing services like calling the police can be very different than white or CALD survivors. 
  • The importance of listening to the stories of Aboriginal survivors 
  • The need for cultural safety  in the responses to domestic violence in the Aboriginal community  

Read  Ashlee's memoir:  ‘Because I love him’ a personal account of love, motherhood, domestic violence and survival.

Watch the video "Change Your Ways" : Australian Men Speak about Domestic Violence

Other related episodes you may be interested in:
Season 2 Episode 15: She is Not Your Rehab: A global invitation to men to end abuse of women & children through radical self-responsibility & healing

Season 2 Episode 13: An Interview with Courageous Fire: Reparations & the Unique Experience of Black Domestic Violence Survivors

Season 2 Episode 7: ‘Radical Resistance to the Status Quo’: A Look Behind the Scottish Coercive Control Law with Dr. Marsha Scott

Season 2, Episode 2: Coercive Control Laws: A discussion with investigative reporter and author Jess Hill

3KND Interview: A global movement going forward to protect children from family violence

Now available! Mapping the Perpetrator’s Pattern: A Practitioner’s Tool for Improving Assessment, Intervention, and Outcomes The web-based Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool is a virtual practice tool for improving assessment, intervention, and outcomes through a perpetrator pattern-based approach. The tool allows practitioners to apply the Model’s critical concepts and principles to their current case load in real

Check out David Mandel's new book "Stop Blaming Mothers and Ignoring Fathers: How to transform the way we keep children safe from domestic violence."

Speaker 1: [00:00:16] And we're back and we're back. Well, it's like a marathon, it's like our marathon, it's our second episode this week recording. Yeah, we're super excited.  [00:00:24][7.9]

Speaker 2: [00:00:25] Yeah, no, I'm I'm Ruth Jones. Mandel with partnered with the army is to start with. Now you're listening.  [00:00:31][6.2]

Speaker 1: [00:00:31] No, no. You're partnered with Survivor. Yes. And I'm David Mandel, executive director of the Safe Together Institute.  [00:00:37][5.3]

Speaker 2: [00:00:37] Currently, we're our rhythm today.  [00:00:38][1.3]

Speaker 1: [00:00:39] That's right. And and you're listening to our podcast, which is about all things domestic violence. And, you know, we cover a range of topics and we do interviews and we we really try to amplify voices of survivors, amplify voices of both professionals and survivors in the field. And you know, I'm super excited that, you know, like, super excited by the way, in case you listen to show I say this, but it's real, but that we hear from people that they're using the podcast for professional development. We hear from from survivors. We hear from diverse people all over the world. And we really hope that if this podcast is interesting to you, you write in to us, you ask us questions,  [00:01:24][45.7]

Speaker 2: [00:01:25] you give us  [00:01:26][0.4]

Speaker 1: [00:01:26] topics or speaker ideas you may interview. Right, right. And and share with other people. But we I can't tell you a week doesn't go by where I don't hear from somebody who says, I feel like I know you me. I feel like you just spent time with you, the two of you. Right? And which is kind of fun. And it's surprising to me, I guess after all this time. Yeah.  [00:01:48][22.3]

Speaker 2: [00:01:49] And so so what are we talking about today?  [00:01:52][3.1]

Speaker 1: [00:01:52] Today, we're talking about coercive control, criminalization, Barrasso interviewing Ashley Donahue, who we had on as a speaker at our Asia Pacific Conference a few months ago, and I was so taken by how she spoke about issues so clearly her forthrightness about how the system needs to change. Second, second thing about that is it's about somebody wasn't doing their job. What do you do? Check them second? And so we wanted her on the podcast to bring her to a different audience to talk about the criminalization of coercive control, that concept of being thrown around Australia and what it looks like to her from an Aboriginal context. And so let me tell our listeners a little bit about Ashley and and so she's a proud, angry woman born and raised in Kempsey, New South Wales, and she's she's so well rounded. Author, educator, she's written a book, she's spoken at the UN and she consult on curriculum material, and she is currently the CEO of Mujinga Aboriginal Corporation. And so as I'm so happy that you hear the yarn with us and to just discuss these really important issues, so so thanks for taking the time out to talk.  [00:03:21][88.4]

Speaker 3: [00:03:22] Thank you so much for inviting me  [00:03:23][1.3]

Speaker 2: [00:03:24] and your deep under lock down right now.  [00:03:27][2.5]

Speaker 3: [00:03:28] We are locked down.  [00:03:29][1.1]

Speaker 1: [00:03:30] Mm yeah. It changes our rhythm and gives us time for some things, but it takes other things away from us. But yeah, I know from our experience of lockdown, there was just, as always, this underlying anxiety. Yeah, about about managing it, managing family members or kids and safety and health. And what can you do, what can't you do? And so we're not under lockdown right now, but we can really feel for what you are going through.  [00:03:55][25.5]

Speaker 3: [00:03:56] Yeah, yeah. My daughter and her two daughters live with me and the eldest granddaughter. I have my number two granddaughter. She's a neat one and I can really see the effects of lockdown on her. Like I would say, it's more depression, but you know, I don't not wanting to do anything, and we're fortunate enough to have a backyard, you know, with a swing set in the trampoline. So and I just see it in her life, just that. No motivation to get up and move. And that's what's scary to me is the effect this is going to have on children today. You know what? What's the long term effect of that?  [00:04:31][35.2]

Speaker 1: [00:04:31] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And if they're doing remote schooling or something else, some kids can handle it. Some kids can't. It's just to make their parents.  [00:04:39][7.6]

Speaker 3: [00:04:39] Two days look like Billy. Home schooling is another thing where where it's it's classist, you know, it's it's the perception that everyone can understand and do the work. But you know that, you know, for Aboriginal people, some Aboriginal people still can't read or write, so they sent home kids to do their homework and whatnot. It's just beyond like, yeah, it's it's this thing and the perception that everyone's got a computer and everyone's got Wi-Fi. And you know, it's.  [00:05:09][29.9]

Speaker 1: [00:05:11] And that home is a safe place where you can learn. I mean, that's that, you know, for a lot of kids, you know, home school was the safe place, school was the place that was structured, school was the place that that you could go and you knew the routine. And you know, that's what Luke and Ryan Hart, who were collaborating with out of the U.K. and their story is, you know, their dad married their mum and their sister. And when they tell their story, they say school was the safe place. It was the place where the rules made sense. Schools with the place where we excel. Yeah. You know, and so the lockdown changes all that stuff. And so anyway, our heart goes out to you and our friends and all across Australia. Lockdown in New Zealand, where the lockdown now too. So we we're self cognizant and this has been true for me for most of my career. That efforts made to address domestic violence that used the dominant system like the criminal justice system for all differentially on different groups in the US, was very aware that when we use the word accountability, use that that meant incarceration, arrest and and that black and brown men were overrepresented in those responses. And I would always try to make a distinction between interventions with those man versus accountability interventions that made things better and and the demeanor was off the table completely in systems. But but there was an awareness that any time you really moved forward on on a criminal justice response, it was going to hit marginalized populations differently. And so we're very cognizant that in Australia and wasn't surprised at all that that voices were saying, Wait a second, you're talking about criminalization, of course control. This is going to hit the Aboriginal community particularly very differently. So we just want to leap in with your perspective on that. Your thoughts about what's pros and cons about that. Anything you want to say, just write into it.  [00:07:18][127.3]

Speaker 3: [00:07:19] Well, the issue with me with coercive control is that they want to make it a single law like a law unto itself. And I'm the I know, coercive court. I know that I can't even say the words coercive control. I know what it is. I've lived it like. I have lived experience with coercive control, so I know that it exists. But I also know that for Aboriginal women, it can work against them. And I say that because, you know, if I'm a survivor of extreme domestic violence and I know myself when I call the police on the father of my kids, he will do the take off. Or if he did, neither, I'd called them when they come. He would have it together so he'd be able to speak to the police in a proper tone cape. And it was a big Aboriginal man, six foot two and 110. He was, look, you know, a really big strong. So he could hold himself, whereas me, I was running around like a, you know, blue ass fly. I'm not sure if I can say that on outside. You know what I mean? Look, with my took a night off like, you know, frantic, screaming, trying to get, you know, done that. And I lost the plot. So if police are given this extra power and I'm for the police, you know, the police have a bad rap like you never, ever say, you know, you never I say to maim the other day. You never, ever say, if the fire brigade, you know, you never say that, right? That's everywhere. You've got young police officers. Never met Aboriginal people. Maybe never even had a situation with domestic violence. They get barely a day's training in it. The rest is on on the job and that's their first experience. And it's evidence based. And so they have a set of questions, you know, as a as police do who who was the aggressor, the woman who was being abusive. The woman. So who's going to get arrested, the woman? Mm-Hmm. So that's the issue. That's the issue that we face here. Because. And because, you know, Aboriginal people have a terrible, terrible reputation, but experience with police in Australia. And so there's no trust. There's no trust at all. You'd if you spoke to Aboriginal people that very few would have if you would say, you know, we've all said we're kids going to Cape Town, the place to get. Yeah. So there's this fear instilled in and I shouldn't giggle. But that's the reality. That's that's what's said because, you know, that's the fear. And so that so you know, with fear comes distrust comes resistance. And so coercive control is legalized as a, you know, one law fits all. It's it's Aboriginal women. You're going to say the increase who already in Australia are the highest percentage increase of incarceration? It's only going to increase more.  [00:10:22][182.7]

Speaker 2: [00:10:23] Mm-Hmm. Mm-Hmm. Yeah.  [00:10:24][1.5]

Speaker 3: [00:10:25] And that's where I worry. Sorry, that's that's that's my my concern.  [00:10:28][3.2]

Speaker 2: [00:10:29] Yeah, we know that here in the United States, there are similar concerns, particularly in states where there's a high rate of arrests for minorities. That that happens here as well. And it's true that once you've had that long history of poor contact, that it's difficult to reestablish the trust that there is fairness in the system. Because first of all, the system has to acknowledge that it has done that and that hasn't happened in any way, shape or form, really anywhere that we've seen in the world where people have said this is a real problem and we need to address it. And it's I think it's so important when we're working in specific contexts that people who are their most impacted by that are the ones that need to say, this is what we need, the people that are most represented within those systems saying these are a few years and this is what I need. And it seems like that's happening, but it's not happening in an official way in Australia, where there's Aboriginal voices in the planning process of the course of controllers. Is that a mis understanding of how that's going?  [00:11:49][79.7]

Speaker 3: [00:11:50] Well, you know, there's voices in in that space. But the problem with Australia and the problem with any country that's been colonized is that Aboriginal people never sit at the top tables. So, you know, if anything's going to be fair and just as you know, it says in everyone's anthem. Aboriginal people have to sit at every level of decision making, and that's not that's not what's happening. It trickles down. We've got some high profile people that that are full coercive control, but but nobody's saying no to coercive control. It's the becoming a stand alone. Offense, you know, you know, look, you know what I mean. And that's because, again, it's that it's that evidence base. So very few Aboriginal women, very few women who are in domestic violence kept journals of the DV. Very few women go to doctors, hospitals, Aboriginal women. Statistics will tell you that they will go to the hospital only if they've got broken bones or need stitches. And that, again, is for the fear of child removal. So there's all these things that that aren't being unpacked that that I cook because because coercive control is is every kind of violence that isn't physical. So you can't say it. So it's anything but you can't see on your body. You know, that's really what coercive control is. So if it's if it's evidence based and you're not one to report, keep journals go to the doctor's flying around like a truck without its head when the police are there. Well, there's no point. There's no evidence to say that you know you're the person that's being affected by coercive control and that that's where the issue lies. And I think that people are making it all so complicated, but that truly is the bottom line.  [00:13:40][110.1]

Speaker 2: [00:13:41] Mm-Hmm. Yeah. No. Go ahead.  [00:13:43][1.9]

Speaker 1: [00:13:43] I think you're making it super clear and plain. I'm thinking about I don't know if you heard, were you listening when Marsha Scott from Scotland gave her talk at the conference, you know, and she said, You know, this is what we did in Scotland, but it has to be adapted to the local context. And there has to be a process that makes sense locally. And and since you're very clear, you have this lived experience, of course, control you, you've survivors understanding of what you and I think of what it means in the Aboriginal context and those barriers is how to how do systems from your perspective, how do they make? Create interventions around coercive control that work for Aboriginal survivors, is it is it just the localized services, the Aboriginal services that now respond to it as a way to make the police or the criminal justice system responsive in your in your perspective? Or is it with colonization and the structural inequities is a kind of a lost cause at this point in our time? No, no, no. No. Yeah, yeah.  [00:14:54][71.0]

Speaker 3: [00:14:55] What Australia has to do is come up with a term of a term that's nation Australia wide. What is the best violence, Michael, for that and have all the things come on to it? Mm-Hmm. Like if if you're going to if you're going to legalize coercive control as a standalone offense, then all offenses of domestic violence have to be equal. And and there won't be. And so we all know that coercive control is just as destructive and abuse abusive as being physically assaulted. We know that. So why can't they just be one? Let just one. One. What you know, one, what do you call it, one? That she curses. Yeah, clusters all over domestic violence is this. And this is the law. If you're a perpetrator of domestic violence, this is what's going to happen. Instead of having all these ts underneath and then it becomes confusing, confusing. What is it? I'm confused because you haven't. I haven't had a coffee yet.  [00:15:59][64.3]

Speaker 1: [00:16:00] Oh, that was right for you.  [00:16:02][2.2]

Speaker 3: [00:16:03] I'm confused. You know, I'm confused. This is at all. And so people are saying, what's this coercive control? And when they say, Oh, it's, you know, like, you know, like, I'm just going to use or running you down or making that your big night or or, you know, I'm standing over you or rubbing you for your money. All those things, they are all elements of domestic violence. So we need a one fit, one fits all because domestic violence doesn't discriminate. I say, I say 100 doesn't have a Blackwater window. Rich, poor. Who? What God you worship? Everyone's affected by domestic violence in every town, city, state in this world. So we need to have one singular theme of what is domestic violence? And then the rules and the laws come under that. The complicating it all that's making it so much so difficult for people worldwide to understand and get a grip on.  [00:16:58][54.3]

Speaker 2: [00:16:59] Yeah, and it's difficult because so much of the system response and the historical system response is wrapped up in, you know, understanding that particular people will be targeted more by this law, no matter if it's, you know, just New South Wales or it's all of Australia that that's real too. And you know, one of the questions I would have for you is about Aboriginal organizations and interventions that are working with domestic violence victims on the ground and and how they're feeling that gap, considering that the systems themselves can be very adversarial to those victims. We recently had a woman courageous fire on and she is a black woman here, and she started an organization where she's doing intervention work with women. She is working with them to find jobs, and she has her own entity. But it's all black women. It's not state funded. She's not getting government funding because she would not get government funding, mostly for the things she wanted to do. She is doing some work subcontracting where she does get some of that, but I'm curious about what Aboriginal leaders are doing that you're aware of that is working directly with victims. That's just their own practice that doesn't feed into these systems.  [00:18:30][91.1]

Speaker 3: [00:18:32] Well, there's very few organizations that are 100 percent run by Aboriginal women for Aboriginal women. The the service I run, where I'm the CEO, is the only service in the metropolitan area that is 100 per cent governed by Aboriginal women staffed by Aboriginal women, clientele, Aboriginal women. And so what that does is it provides a culturally safe space to come in and have discussions about what is and what isn't and how we do it is we've culture into it. So we will have a like a weaving of someone coming into weaving or someone coming to do jewelry making or someone come and do art. And then we'll have what we call yarning circles. And so what we do then is, look, we just have conversations because, you know, you put and I learned this when I am done work with young young teenagers many moons ago. How am I going to get these young women to sit still and talk? So it took them more to get a pedicure? Mm-Hmm. I can't move. They're all lined out as brilliant. It's like that. You know that kakapo. Counseling on all contacts and the conversation just went it was amazing. And so we would do that once a month as part of, you know, self-care. And what that would do that based or a lot of the work that I do now. And that's why it's very important to include things where you can use your hand, where there's not direct, full on eye contact or where you feel intimidated or not. And because I tell, I always share a little bit of myself. The women know, Oh, she's not just talking shit like she. She knows, like she's been there. Like, you know. I understand what it is because I've survived it. And so it makes it that that connection that I think, well, I can I can tell my story to now. And so that's what it is. It's not about putting all these big posters up of commercial papers to say, well, what is coercive control? You know, so so it's it's making things accessible to all nationalities, to all people. It's making. The. Consequences of coercive control. Clear. That's being able to sit and talk and and really not out what it is and what can happen because, you know, with coercive control, women can be perpetrators of coercive control too. Right? So that's going to increase the women incarcerated or criminalization of women for domestic violence. Yeah. And like I said, men can really keep themselves together when the police are around.  [00:21:19][167.0]

Speaker 2: [00:21:20] Yeah, it's really in. It's interesting because we're just working with a few survivors to create a coercive control toolkit, and we decided that what we were going to do is people were going to tell their stories because you have to tell the story of coercive control. It's not about, you know, this one action. It's about all the things strung together that make you not free. And so one of the one of the survivors is an Aboriginal survivor telling their story. And I think that that I always, as a survivor, thought that media campaigns by domestic violence organizations just went like this. You know, they don't, they don't really lands and so much money is spent on them. They should give that money to you seriously and be in a space with other women and other survivors who are telling their stories so that people can start to understand the dynamics of coercive control and also learn how to heal from those behaviors and those traumas. So I'm advocating for that. That's my don't do wasted domestic violence.  [00:22:37][76.6]

Speaker 1: [00:22:37] You just advocate for actually get money for an organization. Okay, where are we going? We're going  [00:22:42][4.8]

Speaker 2: [00:22:42] on record. You know,  [00:22:43][1.2]

Speaker 3: [00:22:44] we need all the help we  [00:22:44][0.9]

Speaker 1: [00:22:45] can get. We got we're going on record being supportive  [00:22:46][1.8]

Speaker 2: [00:22:47] as we know this is where community solutions are so important because domestic violence happens in an ecosystem. It happens in a community and it happens in a context. And those media campaigns are very whitewashed  [00:23:03][15.6]

Speaker 3: [00:23:04] and they don't get what Lyn White  [00:23:06][1.7]

Speaker 2: [00:23:07] my client was last year, right? And they don't connect. And then domestic violence orgs say we have to spend more money because women don't know about our services. Actually, that's not real. You aren't framing your services or making your services work for the people that need them. So that's where I think we need to focus focus people.  [00:23:33][25.5]

Speaker 3: [00:23:34] Yeah, but but also we have to remember who were advocating for. Yeah. I can sit here and I can talk this talk now because I've already walked the walk. But when I was in it, I advocate not for Ashley, who's sitting here now. I advocate for Ashley, who's getting, you know, drag around by the hair. Absolutely. You know, kicked in the back to the point where I needed a surgery. Absolutely. You know, like and when I was. But actually, I couldn't say pass by a nice to the point where because when you're in it, you don't think I haven't got it as bad as somebody else who you know who's in it. And for Aboriginal women, that's quite a high percentage of people that you know, who are affected of domestic violence. And it was to the point where I was going to visit the father of my kids who was incarcerated because I put him there because of domestic violence and other things he was doing. So all of his crimes run concurrent. But anyway, so I was lined up in this line going into, you know, going to the prison and I said, go, look at all these desperate women. This is what I was thinking in my head of writing in my book. And then I realized, Oh my God, I'm exactly the same as every other woman here. Like, you know, who am I to judge me? But that's what we do when we're in it because. And I was speaking to we had like a talk about coercive control with a group of women just a couple of weeks ago. And one of the ladies said, Well, because I'd had a knife put up me like I thought, I thought I was going to kill me, right? And she said, Well, I never thought that I'd die or he'd kill me. I just thought, Oh, here we go again. So that's the you got to. You got to remember the mentality of the person who's in the DV, not who's out, because hindsight's a beautiful thing. They can all tell everyone what to do and how they should do it when we're out of it. But you've got to go back to when you were in it. What did that feel like? What would have helped you? What? What snapped you out of it? You guys from there. Otherwise people are just guessing.  [00:25:35][121.3]

Speaker 1: [00:25:37] And you're the second person who has said that this week, Matt Brown, who wrote, She is not your rehab. He said he wrote the book, which is about his experience of his dad's abuse to his mom and to them, and then his journey as a man to heal and to help other men heal and stop their violence. He said he wrote the book for the younger version of himself. Yeah. So it's really interesting to hear you say in a couple of days later that they're very much the same thing that we need to be thinking about. You think about that younger version of yourself advocating for.  [00:26:10][33.4]

Speaker 3: [00:26:10] We've got to remember we've got a center. Who are we trying to protect? What are we advocating for? Who are we trying to get out of this cycle, right?  [00:26:19][9.1]

Speaker 1: [00:26:20] So you actually want to take a couple of things together because you earlier raised the fear Aboriginal women would have about calling the police and then you you know that they may call child protection and you know, and and all those things that cascade. Can you say more about that? Because I think people. In mainstream services, a lot of themselves will say, I want to help. I don't understand why she won't trust me. And they personalize it, right? You've seen that happen. And then at the extreme, they then they get angry and then they get blaming that she won't engage with services. And then they stopped and then then they left. Then it goes as far as slapping a label on her. She's resistant. She's in denial. You know, operational  [00:27:04][44.4]

Speaker 2: [00:27:05] defiance of  [00:27:06][0.6]

Speaker 1: [00:27:07] oppositional, defiant disorder is clinical. But can you can you say more about what those services does mainstream service with law enforcement or refuge? What they look like to to an Aboriginal woman and in many cases? Well, the  [00:27:22][15.8]

Speaker 3: [00:27:22] reality is Aboriginal women will not utilize those services unless it's extreme, right? And then it takes a lot of courage for an Aboriginal woman to walk into a white service and sit down and tell this story. What's not happening is people aren't listening to her story. They're in their head thinking, Ah, this is what she needs. She needs this. I can get her that this is where she needs to go, and they're not listening to the story. They're not hearing her. So that is the problem there. And then when she's got to tell that story again to the next person and they're not hearing it, she thinks, Oh, if this, no one's listening to me, I'm just going to go back. And that's what happened. It's an example of that.  [00:28:03][41.1]

Speaker 2: [00:28:04] It's funny because all professionals are trained to go right to that problem-solving place. It's like it's like a little computer. You know, here's the input. She's telling me this Oh, I have this service and this service and this service and this service. It doesn't work. It doesn't work. Yeah, it doesn't work.  [00:28:21][16.2]

Speaker 3: [00:28:21] And, you know, because we have what you call women will come in and we have a program where you can get help with electricity vouchers or you can come in and we have us have we can get fresh fruit and veggies on a Monday. And women will come in and out of the front saying, Oh, I need help with this. But what's the backstory? Could it be that they their partner there has been spent all the money gambling and now they have to get, you know, come and get help. There's a back story. People don't just turn up because, Oh, I need some electricity. I need some food. You know, when people you know, because we've got a we've got Centrelink, not here, you know, it does happen. You know, that doesn't barely pays rent and whatnot, but there's always a back story. And so the waiting for Aboriginal women coming into our service, that's a big thing. And that's why we have these cultural activities so that you drop in is a drop in center and you don't have to be going through domestic violence, sexual assault or the court or anything you just come in to be. Mm hmm.  [00:29:23][61.3]

Speaker 1: [00:29:23] Mm hmm. Right. So much more holistic. And you know, and then the connections are made. You're reminded me of in the U.S. years ago, I did work with probation officers and they'd complain that they have a guy on probation for domestic violence. And they complain his partner would call up about irrelevant things like, I don't have any nappies and he won't buy any nappies, you know, and irrelevant, irrelevant to going back to what you're saying.  [00:29:51][27.7]

Speaker 3: [00:29:51] I haven't seen nappies. That's right.  [00:29:53][1.6]

Speaker 1: [00:29:53] You that. That's right. And what's his role in it and what, you know, until he tried his annoyance? Yeah, she was. And I can't tell how many times I've heard Professor and I were referred to his professional arrogance, and I've done it number of times, saying we're professionals think they know what will help. I think they know that the answers they think, they know how somebody's supposed to present themselves, you know, and and I can't tell you how many times people have said, well, she doesn't understand the impact it's having on her kids or she's picking him over his are picking him over the kids. Well, how do you know that? And they go, what? She's she's not leaving. And that would be the end of the conversation. But they they said if she had insight, she just leave  [00:30:34][40.4]

Speaker 3: [00:30:35] that she's staying because in her mind, she's protecting, you know, because if she gets killed his own look after the kids, where is she going to go to jail? She might have a relationship with her mother, but she might like her mother, who said they might even have those people in place right now.  [00:30:51][16.7]

Speaker 1: [00:30:52] Maybe nowhere to go, nowhere to go. She's probably six times before, and he's tracked her down right away where he knows all her people. And so he knows any place she's going to go. He can find her,  [00:31:02][10.4]

Speaker 2: [00:31:03] you know, threatened to kill one of her family members if she leaves again. You know,  [00:31:07][3.9]

Speaker 3: [00:31:07] the thing is, and I reckon any woman that's been a domestic violence relationship can attest to this. The father of my I swear this is what has even come out. Hey, I would go somewhere and he would pop up behind a tree. OK, he wouldn't like, you know. And what the hell did you know that I was here? It's like they've got a jeep. It's a metal smell, and people say, Well, how are they going to track you down? They won't find you. They will find you. I don't know how, but they will. And they do. Yeah, that's that's when the worst violent incidents generally happen. And there's always one incident that is above the rest and it generally happens early on. And what that does? Now this is a generalization, and I'm speaking from my own experience. What happens then, is that you're in the back of your mind in my I know what he can do to me. So if I don't do this, that might happen again. Yeah, because very few women go back after the first hit. Very few believe. I mean, sorry, you can scrape that bit out. Very few women will leave after the first hit or the first incident. And before this violence is or the coercive control things that the, you know, gaslighting, they're telling you what you can wear, who you can talk to, where you can go. So standing over money, you know the the abuse, the, you know, verbal abuse is one of the first signs of domestic violence or, you know that I'm rushing. I love you. Let's have nine kids after the first day. You know,  [00:32:40][92.1]

Speaker 1: [00:32:43] I can't I can't live without you. I can't live without you. And yeah, and I think you don't  [00:32:49][5.7]

Speaker 3: [00:32:49] need to go and see your friends. You got me.  [00:32:51][2.0]

Speaker 1: [00:32:51] Right, right. And what you describing? I just want to point out that the you know, the the we have conversations here about how you know, the culture. Subtle differences, the dynamics of the control that might be in different communities, but the universality because all that stuff you just described, could you be like you said, to be going on in any community, anywhere? But and there's differences, you know, there will be differences based on culture or resources or  [00:33:20][29.0]

Speaker 2: [00:33:21] fear of the institution of the  [00:33:23][2.0]

Speaker 3: [00:33:23] institution. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate. But the the the the services, the like, what are the what did I say before the structures obey the powers that be do? Right? So it's it's it's it's not the domestic violence that's discriminatory because that happened everywhere to everyone. It's how that woman or the man, whoever the victim is, is seen in the eyes of the services and the systems that are set up to help.  [00:33:52][29.4]

Speaker 2: [00:33:53] You know, part of part of I'm going back to what you were saying before about the way that professionals kind of just swoop in with their problem solving set without hearing and listening and being curious about the situation in this story for that particular survivor. And. It really lands for me that I talk about the difference between saviors and partners. Hmm. If you're a savior, you think you know everything and you tell the person what to do. And if they don't do it, they're either stupid or they're crazy because you are their savior. And here we are. We're going to save you if you're a partner. You're curious and you ask and you want to hear and you want to explore what will be best for that person. And we haven't had the attitude of being partners. There's a tremendous amount of savior ism in social services. There's a tremendous amount of savior ism embedded in white people. We have been told that we are the saviors of the world like Flash Gordon or something. And seriously, you can play that in your head. Seriously. And that also comes from a very religious place. So you see a lot of religious organizations that are domestic violence organizations that are working in populations which they consider to be less than them ignorant, not morally grounded. And so they're going to be their savior. They're going to bring salvation to them. And that comes not just in religion, but it comes through social services as well. And it's really a dangerous, dangerous attitude to have because it means that we believe that we know everything and that we don't have to be curious and we don't have to listen. And we don't have to look at the things that are happening on the ground as they are and take them for what they are without judgment and be able to say, OK, so this is happening. How can I best help you? What's the best way forward for you? And it's we need to start doing that more.  [00:36:19][145.9]

Speaker 1: [00:36:21] You're making good professionals, aren't you speaking? You mean the producer speaking the.  [00:36:25][3.5]

Speaker 2: [00:36:25] But I'm say it's like, I'm being gentle right now, like I'm being a survivor right now.  [00:36:31][5.3]

Speaker 1: [00:36:31] Yeah. Go ahead, Ashleigh.  [00:36:32][0.7]

Speaker 3: [00:36:32] But it comes from white cyberterrorism. And you know, look, I mentioned earlier any country that's both born on colonization. Yeah. Look, a Chinese born made of coercive control. Yeah. Well, you know, for Aboriginal people to get the things that white people do, they have to do it. What people will do, what were they doing?  [00:36:52][19.3]

Speaker 2: [00:36:52] They were violating  [00:36:53][0.4]

Speaker 3: [00:36:54] reeling babies, raping, bashing, you know, sending children that were doing all these things. So and then they were. And then it's Aboriginal people say, Well, this stuff is happening like, you know, it makes no sense, like it's a white saviors. But you know, and you know, touching on that religion, like, I don't know if you know much about missions and that was set up here where they'd put Aboriginal people. Yeah, you could have like five siblings and they could all be baptized, different religions, whoever that pastor was on the mission at the time. Right. And you know, the thing is, is that on these missions, there's generally one white man who think make the skin babies. Mm hmm. You know what I mean? And then so all this happens and then they want to fix it. They want to fix the mistakes that they've done, the stuff that they've set in motion.  [00:37:46][52.5]

Speaker 1: [00:37:47] Right, right. And attacking and taking Aboriginal people for in the process. That's right. Well, in the family saying there, because it's having the U.S., you know, slavery was, you know, broke down black communities, black, you know, black families and then removals. And then and then and then consistent removal. And then and then black families are criticized for not being strong enough for not being in power.  [00:38:11][23.4]

Speaker 3: [00:38:12] Yeah, but that's the thing. And Australia is a very young country. When it 230 years old, that's five generations, right? And there's this get of it. And it wasn't my I didn't do it to you and all this. No, you didn't. But the people that did. You're benefiting from that as the Aboriginal people.  [00:38:32][20.5]

Speaker 1: [00:38:33] Yeah, and I, you know, and I think it's I think it's I know and I got a you know what I think is a fairly good education in the United States, right? And I've been reflecting heavily on, you know, how that education was colonizing, you know, or taught me values, you know, in the US is a concept of manifest destiny that we were taught in school. And it was this idea, right, that that Europeans were destined to take over the entire continent east to west, and it was just taught without critical any critical view to that. You know, when I when your kids see, that's what you learn as a kid and then you have to reflect on it as as an adult, we you go, wait a second. Yeah, you know, that's a colonizers mentality. Yeah, yeah.  [00:39:21][48.4]

Speaker 2: [00:39:22] And I was taught so much worse, right? I was taught that it was the duty of religious people to colonize indigenous people because they lacked morals. That was that that is something that now people are my clothes. It's a different. It's, you know, it's so it's it's really hard. I think for us to work out this, this sense of savior ism and to stop and reinsert a sense of connection and humanity and curiosity and not feeling like you are the expert in somebody else's experience.  [00:40:00][37.8]

Speaker 3: [00:40:01] That's it. That's and there lies the the issue where that's why I believe it's so important to start telling the truth to out in schools. Tell the truth about the history of the of the country, not not the white truth. Like never tell the actual truth of of the people who you colonized or who you invited, or whatever you, you know, whatever way a country and what the term is, you tell the truth. And that will save so much trouble because even in Australia, people don't know the truth of how Australia come about because it's not taught like they get to do it. It's a selective in Aboriginal studies, it's selective in high schools. I think, you know, I'm not sure that they're recognizing like we have night or week and whatnot, but again, they take the Aboriginal kids out of the classroom here. Let's paint, let's dance. Let's do this. The non-Aboriginal kids are left in the classroom. What do you think those kids are thinking? I'm going to sit here and do math, and they got the Aboriginal kids getting all the free stuff, and that's the mentality that's put in place at a young age. So it's getting it's not. You got to be inclusive in everything. In truth, telling in activities and in culture so that everyone, that's what you learn at every school has a language you have got to learn. Mm-Hmm. Well, why can't every school learn Aboriginal culture? So at least they know what it is. They know the truth, and then they can base it on on that perspective instead of, you know, I kept coming in and saving the poor black people.  [00:41:37][95.8]

Speaker 1: [00:41:38] Right now, it's I think it's really we see we see that, I think in places, I'm making the analogy where, you know, you know, in Canada where you know, the whole country is bilingual, even though it's only one province, that's Quebec. That's it's the it's the primary language. You know, it's the whole country. And his idea that the French culture. Quebec Choir and that whole kind of culture is important to the entire country. And I think that's that's what I'm thinking about as you're talking about it. So you're not isolating it over there, you're saying. But at the same time, this is about all of us.  [00:42:20][41.5]

Speaker 2: [00:42:20] That's still that's still, you know, somebody that came in to that's  [00:42:23][3.2]

Speaker 1: [00:42:23] such a hard thing about, you know, the German camp because, you know, all the stuff that's there about the schools up in Canada and the U.S., right? The the where the kids were sent to. I know you. I'm sure you've seen that. Not not. It's not news in, but it's, you know, it's coming out in this very graphic way about what was done. Very similar. I think it sounds like to that, to the to the missions there, you know,  [00:42:49][25.9]

Speaker 3: [00:42:50] still, it never makes the front page news, does it? It doesn't make the big headlines like this little glimpse of it. And then that's it. That's right. OK, we've mentioned that let's not get let's not dig that up again. And yet that's what needs to be dug up. That's what needs to be told right here. These stories, if you want to change violence in homes in countries, tell the truth about the violence that they were built on.  [00:43:14][24.2]

Speaker 2: [00:43:15] Yeah. And also to learn how to engage in behaviors that are not coercive. Yeah. Not just in our individual relational context, but also as a domestic violence organization, as a rape crisis organization, as a child protection organization learned to not be a coercive entity and try to mitigate any harm that you might do and harm to abduct to children and families that will continue that cycle. That that's a piece that I think people think we can't actually do, but we can do if we model the behaviors of how to partner with people.  [00:43:58][43.3]

Speaker 1: [00:43:59] So I saw on that line, you know, we talked earlier about, you know, you reference the stolen generation used about kids being taken. And and I have done a lot of work over last whatever 20 years, Typekit years with child protection agencies all over the world, and they're all very similar, including Australia. Whether they'll look at a survivor and say, we're going to measure whether you protected the kids, but did you call the police? Did you get a Devo or an IPO? Did you go to a refuge? These are the three or four things that they're going to look for and that if she hasn't, then she may get tagged with authority to protect and more likely to to to have their kids taken because of the behavior of somebody else, because of behavior of a partner boyfriend. And we've seen the US and it's same in Australia, overrepresentation of black and brown women and their kids and Aboriginal women in those two systems. Can you? I want to help our listeners who professionals understand that when an Aboriginal woman is looking at that choice to call the police or or go to that service what you know, and that she's worried and that she had the back of mind, she has that fear about losing her kids to child protection. Can you talk about that? Kind of connectedness there.  [00:45:21][81.4]

Speaker 3: [00:45:21] Yeah, it's well with this this paper, I'll tell you a stolen generation still happening in Australia today. Aboriginal children are the most removed children in Australia from their families. They have a system set up with kinship care, where for Aboriginal carers? But but that blacks too, because in order to be able to be an Aboriginal carer and not one person in the house can have a criminal record, so that criminal record could be a young person who's just had offensive language or something like that. So that's blocks. So that's another. And it's so hard for and it's terrible that, you know, our especially our young men don't end up with a criminal record for something that a non-Aboriginal person wouldn't get a record for. And that is just the blatant truth. So that's one one thing. But it's that that fear of losing a child, having a child taken from you and far outweighs any form of violence. Now I'm not saying that, you know, we all know that children aren't safe in a violent home, you know, because a lot of kids will step in the middle and a lot of kids are in family violence. The violence comes when they're trying to say, Mum, you know, or get in the middle, I'll stop. So I'm not saying that, but what I'm saying is as an Aboriginal mother. The fear of losing your child, having your child taken far outweighs the fear of being bashed. And so what women know that if you call the police, if there's more than, you know, then there's a duty of care which which is everything in place is fine. But they know that then they will be reported to. They say, J Docs, whatever they call it, here in Australia, they see J. They change their acronym every two years. They can't give up. But you know, social service is what they call child removal agencies. And then they they didn't then decide they get pregnant again. That mom will have a birth. So then she'll have to do things in order so that she doesn't get that baby removed. So there's all of these things the the the systems that they've got set up. There's no I don't think it's communication between them because, you know, they I closed the gap and it closed the gap on that, right? I've come up with ways of OK, well, instead of taking this baby, let's help mum keep the baby, you know? So they served mum,  [00:47:58][157.2]

Speaker 2: [00:48:00] there's a there's here in the United States with kinship care and in North America in general. I think in Canada as well, the highest removals are in our First Nation Indigenous people. And then there's a mixture of minority and ethnic groups that have high removals in the United States, including indigenous children. But kinship care is not doesn't get paid the same way that foster care does. In fact, you don't you don't get money for kinship care. And so if you are already a poor family and you take that child, you now have to take care of a child. You may be a working grandma now or auntie, and you now are really trying to juggle taking care of a child that that nobody is supporting you to take care of at this logic.  [00:48:57][57.1]

Speaker 3: [00:48:57] But wouldn't that logic be paid the kinship carers?  [00:48:59][2.0]

Speaker 2: [00:49:00] Yes, it would be. That would be the logic. And also, I think logical that in in areas where there is high engagement with First Nation and indigenous communities, that the people who make those kinship, you know, accommodations and markers and mandates be First Nation themselves, understand the culture of their own people to process those families  [00:49:25][25.2]

Speaker 3: [00:49:25] boils down to perception to block its perception. And again, it's looking through a white lens. So, you know, these services could walk into an indigenous person, an Aboriginal person, a person of a, you know, that's not white time and think, Oh my God, they're struggling. Look, they've only got one large single whatever and Aboriginal indigenous person could walk into that house because they're doing alright, right? Mm hmm. That's the perception, right? Yes. And and that's the thing. And again, that's looking to a white middle class lens of what it is, what a home is supposed to look like.  [00:49:59][33.8]

Speaker 1: [00:50:00] Right. It's I remember somebody years ago saying I was talking to a young child protection worker and, you know, and not brand new, but young young saying, she said, You know, if I'm being honest, I've never taken a kid from a middle class family. And and you can see all the things that would go into it. It might be racism might be economics, it might be what they've got the resources, all those things that that would feed into. But she was she was speaking honestly and saying, You know, I just I've never done it. And I think that's not speaks to somewhat the universality of what you're talking about. I part of I want to underscore, I want to make sure I'm right in this and again, I'm trying to, you know? I'm trying to listen and also help people listen, which is part of what I'm hearing you say as an Aboriginal woman is going to be calculating. When she looks at any white service, is this service going to help me or is this service going to be a pathway to losing my kids? Is that is that a fair bet? Is it fair? You know, I mean, is it? That's a fair statement, because what you meant, you name the police, but I heard. You know that that is broader than that, that it's that it's one of  [00:51:11][71.9]

Speaker 3: [00:51:12] even midwives, even what it was like Aboriginal women, like an Aboriginal midwife, and they're very far and few Latino. So there's also that fear because there's that again, not discrimination. People don't like to think the country is a racist, but they are. And say, you know, Aboriginal women have lower birth rates, you know, have higher gestational diabetes. You know these things. So instead of understanding why that is, it's OK, it's the mums fault. Right. You know what I mean?  [00:51:46][33.9]

Speaker 1: [00:51:47] Yeah.  [00:51:47][0.0]

Speaker 3: [00:51:48] So up against that true, which is a of which is also or due to colonization and things that are it's like alcoholism, you know, two hundred and thirty years ago, Aboriginal people didn't know what alcohol was. So their resistance isn't good, is it? But their ability to digest alcohol wouldn't be have the same effect as the people that come out from England who have been drinking for 10 years. Would they stop  [00:52:14][25.3]

Speaker 2: [00:52:14] the police for thousands of years, right? Yeah. Well, that's it  [00:52:16][2.3]

Speaker 3: [00:52:16] for those systems. So not just that it's all new, right? You know what I mean? And stuff that I consider these things as all aboriginals are drunken, dirty people who are lazy and good for nothing. You know, that's the perception, right?  [00:52:32][16.1]

Speaker 1: [00:52:33] Mm hmm. Right.  [00:52:34][0.6]

Speaker 3: [00:52:34] And no good that they've been here for 5000 plus years before that ready to lazy and drunk. And we didn't even know how drunk was like, you know, so I think it really is,  [00:52:47][12.5]

Speaker 1: [00:52:47] and it's really hard for people. I mean, I see this on a on a smaller scale. I think people tend to look at a mom who's a domestic violence victim and say, Well, he's out of the house or he's incarcerated and she can't control the kids. She must be a must have parenting deficits. She must be a bad parent. And they may have a hard time stopping and step back going. We say, wait a second. She's live with somebody who for 10 years undercut her with the kids, told them not to moderate model, disrespect all those things. And so. Well, let me think about the fact that that's the real context for what I'm saying, not that she's a bad parent. Can't control her kids, but that but that these dynamics are shaping what I'm seeing in front of my patients. And that's the biggest analogy for me I can make, which is people don't stop and say, how has racism and colonization shaped what I'm seeing here, where you know somebody can't get a job or this happened here or somebody won't call the police or you know that it's that there's there's reasons they're real bad.  [00:53:57][69.7]

Speaker 3: [00:53:57] Another thing that people don't look at is that these abusive fathers are hands on dads, right? They'll look after kids. They'll they'll buy them, they'll pick up the clothes, cook dinner. They'll they'll they do this stuff. People don't take that into consideration. So when that man is removed and everything, everything's on the woman who is on my guard, I'm going to be on my own. I didn't sign up to be a single mother. I don't want to raise my kids on my own. I've got three kids. I can't deal. She's going through all of her emotions. The kids are going through their emotions because they would miss dad, right? Mom's thinking, I can't do this on my own. And so people are going to take that into consideration, that they just think that dads that abuse that help at home. But I'm the majority, especially Aboriginal dads do, right? That's never spoken about, right?  [00:54:51][53.6]

Speaker 2: [00:54:52] That you're, of  [00:54:52][0.9]

Speaker 3: [00:54:53] course, because it's a thing of a man. You can't be good at the moment. You put your hands on the mother of your kids. You no longer a good father. Yeah, you're not long ago, you know, you know, and there's so that's a perception and they're not thinking about, OK, well, this dad helps, right? He'll go shopping, he cooks, he cleans.  [00:55:12][20.0]

Speaker 2: [00:55:14] I think that I think that mainstream domestic violence organizations and other organizations that deal with domestic violence have been afraid to humanize domestic violence perpetrators. They intentionally want to make them into monsters so that women will leave them and make them, you know, just uniform because they've seen women say, but he does this, nobody does that and then stay. So they want to coerce her into leaving, so they forget that that person is not always abusive and that he is not a singular, you know, monolithic monster and that he actually does do care at home. That he is engaged with those kids to a certain level. And some, maybe some people who are abusing their family or not. But, you know, in my experience, even growing up there, there is that level of engagement. So what is our job when we remove that person for the safety of their family? Our job is to fill the needs so that that family can be safe and can be stable and can be self-determined and can have, you know, healing essentially. But we're not doing that. We're not stepping in. And even when you see the way that the removal to foster care to adoption pipeline, as I call it, if you stepped in and you gave those moms assistance assistance monetarily, if they got jobs, if they had child care, that was meaningful, if they were able to go back and get trained for for a job, if they were given mental health and addiction services, they would be able to keep their child. But we've really again, that's that savior attitude. We swooped in and we said, it's better for us to remove children from problematic families, especially ones that don't fit our definition of what a good family looks like or may have cultural values that we disagree with or that we want. You see what I'm saying? So take your child and we'll do better. But what  [00:57:29][135.4]

Speaker 3: [00:57:29] happens? What happens when these children grow up? They go back looking for their mom and dad? Right? Yeah. Look, Aboriginal kids. As soon as they know how to get on a train or bus, they will run away from foster care and run home. And this is what people do or or they spend the rest of their life trying to fill that void that at that. What is it when people leave abandonment issues? I was abandoned by my parents. I was this and I was that, and I never. And so they spent those kids spend the rest of their life with that issue. And so then the cycle continues regardless. If they've been in foster care and it's been good on, not they'll always be that little you're of, Oh, you know what, why? Why was not good enough, especially for the kids come afterwards. And those kids stay with the parent. Yeah. Why? Why could they stay? And I didn't. What was wrong with me? So, you know, people aren't looking at the full picture. They're just thinking, OK, let's get let's put that in jail. Take the kids for mom and then the world a better place.  [00:58:28][58.9]

Speaker 2: [00:58:29] It's not right, as if the kid is peachy, keen and happy now, and everything is good. And it's it's just it's it's such an injustice to the to the way that humans actually are, to the way that we create bonds and connection with each other and to the needs that we have for our family and for our ecosystem that is deeply meaningful to us. It's it's it's very traumatic for children to be removed from their families. It is. It is.  [00:58:59][30.0]

Speaker 1: [00:59:01] You brought up about the men and the fathers. And you know, for me, that's a big area. And I remember writing a blog years ago where I said that if we see. Men who choose violence perpetrated domestic violence one dimensionally that we're doing a disservice to their partners who see them three dimensionally, who see the the way they're important to their kids, or they may do good stuff sometimes. And and they were the guy they fell in love with who was sweet to them for a period of time and or a guy that they know was abused, you know, and experienced abuse, you know, was was taken from a family, is a kid or dealing with other impacts of colonization, whether it's its police, you know, arresting them or beating them up or whatever it is. And so I'm wondering, you know, and we know the stats rates, higher levels of violence, depression, suicidality, addiction, all these things for you. What's most important for those men and the Aboriginal community? It's about healing and stopping the behaviors, you know, when you think about it. What does it look like from your perspective?  [01:00:16][75.5]

Speaker 3: [01:00:18] Well, I don't know if you know this, David, but I've done lots of work with men over the years. So I wrote the I was the lead writer like in the Narrows Voice against violence. And what that does is use rugby league as a platform to get the anti-violence message out. So I've been all over New South Wales. I'm speaking to football teams of black men and what had happened is I'd go out with an ex rugby league player and I said, what that down was. All the men were saying, Yeah, we want to meet Nathan Merritt or David Peachey or, you know, one of the stars that have retired and part of the program was that they have to undertake this domestic violence training. And then they'd get sponsored if there was if there was an incident of domestic violence because they communities and the police would generally part of the football team, you know, if there's an incident of violence and they weren't allowed to play, they'd be benched and and whatnot. So there was this whole process and what had happened is that like, I would have lied and this is when I first started it. I can't do this. You know, I talk to men and and whatnot, but what I would find is that men. When you talk about domestic violence, domestic violence, the man is only hitting. They don't understand all the things that coercive control. So this is another issue in this coercive control issue. And I knew there was one time I wasn't like, you know, training all those underground training thing. It had been raining. All those 30 men had been training. They were muddy with sweaty, dirty. I was the only woman and I was there talking about domestic violence. Not one of the men made a sound. They listened to every word I had to say. And then I had men come up, Oh my god. Does that mean that I'm a domestic violence perpetrator? I do this or I do that. So it's no point just educating women. There's no point just saying, OK, well, let's save the women, because then the men aren't going to get the healing or the understanding or the knowledge of what domestic violence is to. So we at imagine go where I was. We linked up with one of the. Probation and patrol for patrol parole officers, things. And so what we've done is we do you name the court living safe, loving. So the perpetrator had been to jail. The woman had stayed with him. And so what we did was have a program for the woman to say, Well, this is the feelings and this is what's going to happen. And then probation and parole had a program for the men. So because and then the men listen listening and learning, because what happens is that when men do this behavior, problem behavior, problem programs, and the woman doesn't. If that man doesn't react like she's used to, then that causes conflict to. So, you know, because when you're on a domestic violence relationship, there's an expectation that you know what's going to look, you're always thinking, OK, this is what's going to happen today. This is going to react like that and and whatnot. And one night, Doug, the woman that the Oh, what's going on? Is there another woman? And all this mental stuff that goes in here is cheating. Is he what's he doing like? Why isn't he reacting, how I'm used to it? So it's very important if we're going to do these programs and if couples are going to stay together and the majority of couples want to stay together in domestic violence relationships, whether we like it or not, they will. They will stay together and not stay together until they're old. You know, some guy a lot. Do you have to run programs that are concurrent with each other separate because otherwise the woman won't feel confident enough to undertake the learning, nor will the man. But as long as they've got the same kind of, they're heading for the same goal and they've got the same information and the impact in their and their learning together. Mm hmm.  [01:04:02][224.0]

Speaker 1: [01:04:04] It worked as it gets for a lot of folks in mainstream services. That idea of serving both the man and the woman in parallel. You know, when they're deciding to stay together is it doesn't fit with their paradigm. And I'm thinking about a program and  [01:04:23][19.1]

Speaker 3: [01:04:24] it doesn't fit with their paradigm.  [01:04:24][0.9]

Speaker 1: [01:04:25] That's what I'm saying. Yeah, right. Exactly. The professional paradigm. Yeah.  [01:04:28][3.2]

Speaker 3: [01:04:29] You and I both know and they do a beautiful thing where they do men's roundtables and women's roundtables at connect there. And that's the same kind of thing. You know, I said, men all go to that table and sit around and talk about what domestic violence looks like for them women. And so they're getting the same information so they can move forward and go together because in any relationship, if there isn't, you're not moving together and one's going to fall behind and then it's going to shift. And then it goes the.  [01:04:55][26.1]

Speaker 2: [01:04:57] Right. I I just think it's so funny, funny coming from a perspective of how you practice in the United States has evolved in around the world that one of the things that people say is that we're pro-family, right? We want families. We want healthy families. Well, how can you have healthy families if you're not, if you're not assisting both sides in whatever manner that they say that they need to be assisted? You know, and the concept to kind of lands with, you know, talking to domestic violence men who are choosing to be violent and saying, you will destroy your family if you do this. If you love your family and you want a strong family, then you need to change the way that you relate to your partner and to your kids. Or you will be the reason that your family will be destroyed if you are the bomb in that in the house. And we really haven't placed that responsibility  [01:06:03][65.9]

Speaker 3: [01:06:05] that goes on the woman. I was like, You  [01:06:07][1.9]

Speaker 2: [01:06:07] know,  [01:06:07][0.0]

Speaker 3: [01:06:08] the man who made the man, you move, the woman is going to jump through hoops and do parenting programs and everything else. Mm-Hmm. Instead of, you know, well, he's still going to be a dad. He's still want to see kids. Why isn't he doing parenting programs? Why isn't he doing behind? You know, there's no equilibrium in and there lies the problem.  [01:06:28][20.3]

Speaker 1: [01:06:29] Right? I remember being on a panel with these young people and they were talking about a program they were part of in Georgia, in the United States. And it was for I think it was for it was it was a lot in the Latino and refugee community, if I remember correctly. And they started doing services for the women and the women said, What about our men? And so they started running parallel groups for the men, and then they also did parallel groups to the kids. So in this church, this is my recollection I may be getting it wrong, but my recollection that there would be simultaneously groups going on for the men, for the women and the and the kids. And they said, when I talked to one of the leaders, they said, Look, we've never had an incentivized. People were like, Oh my God, they're in the same space. And I said, we've never had an incident of violence. So they're running the program. And then I was on this kind of traveling tour of a bunch of workshops with folks, and it was really fascinating. You'd have these researchers and domestic violence professionals saying work with men doesn't work. They'd say that there would be a presentation and then you talk to the kids and these kids on a panel a few hours later and they say, Oh, my dad's going to group. And my dad knows I'm here. And my dad's supportive. He knows I'm going to talk about his violence. And it's so healing for me to know that he's supporting me talking. And my dad's really changed. So their lived experience was my dad's got better, my dad safer. He's supportive. But you had the professional saying, these things don't work. Men never change. You know, and  [01:08:08][99.3]

Speaker 2: [01:08:09] it's so ironic because because there's so many accusations from so many, you know, different ideological places where, you know, it's crazy that we're not. We're not acknowledging that our practices are fundamentally harmful to to to families and to kids and traumatizing. And that will continue to trickle down through different generations and that we should really, really prioritize understanding how to help people if they want to be together, if they want to stay, how to be safe, how to be nourished, how to be, you know. And then we demonize single moms and we take their kids.  [01:08:54][44.9]

Speaker 3: [01:08:56] We're taking the onus off women like domestic violence is not a woman's women's problem, right? You know, it's it's it's everyone's problem. And men are the majority of perpetrators. So unless we help men and educate men and and change, we don't a DVD. You should watch it. Dave, I don't know if you've seen it going to change your ways  [01:09:19][23.5]

Speaker 1: [01:09:20] after look at it. Yeah, yeah.  [01:09:21][1.1]

Speaker 3: [01:09:21] And your ways and talks about men who have been experience with domestic violence like, well, like three different men, like three different stories. But it's about understanding because if we don't do that then and you wonder why people are saying, Oh, well, there's no active fathers, you know, all these sons are being raised without fathers, their daughters having daddy issues because there's no fathers, there's no fathers, because fathers are getting removed. And just, you know what their fathers do, they go off, find another woman and  [01:09:51][29.1]

Speaker 2: [01:09:51] do the same thing. Same thing. Exactly that. Can behavior just continues. And right, so it's. Then we throw our hands up and we say we can't do anything unless we throw them in jail forever and ever and ever,  [01:10:02][10.9]

Speaker 3: [01:10:03] and very few people come out of jail better than they did when they went in. All right.  [01:10:06][3.7]

Speaker 2: [01:10:07] And very few people stay in jail for domestic violence anyway. So I know that we're kind of at the end of our lovely, lovely chat. Yes. And so I was just wondering what you would want professionals to know if there's anything particularly you want to address with professionals?  [01:10:23][16.9]

Speaker 3: [01:10:25] Well, what we just spoke about is that, you know, domestic violence isn't women's a woman's issue. You know, domestic violence is is is partners, it's families. It's everyone's issue. And unless we have education that educates everyone, unless we have information that's accessible to everyone and for and to have people who have been victims of domestic violence, who can experience it at the center of making these programs and legislations and whatnot, not just a group of people, middle class people saying this is going to work, this is going to work. You know, I grew up with mom and dad. This is how it should be, you know, looking for that white lens. You have to have everyone, everyone's input and to make it accessible to everyone, you know, to understand that, you know, the most important thing in life is to be surrounded by a loving family where you're safe, where you're cultured and where you've got the the equal education on what is and what isn't  [01:11:28][63.4]

Speaker 2: [01:11:30] good, right? And what would you want survivors to hear?  [01:11:33][3.4]

Speaker 3: [01:11:35] That it's you know, that they, you know, they survive. I always say like, you know, when when as a survivor myself, I think of what, you know, I'm having a bad day or you get hard on yourself. And then I say, What is the worst thing that's happened to you? And we've all got something and you think, Oh, well, I overcome that. I can overcome this, too. And yeah, and that's what it is is. And you know, to to get help. And I know that go into therapy is really hard. And I know for myself that I went to three therapists until I found my first one until I found the one that I stuck with. The first one was a man and he wanted to go straight into my family, into my childhood, and I wasn't ready for that outcome. And there's talk about domestic violence, not my childhood. So that didn't work. And then the next one wanted me to pretend that the father of my kids was a pillow and punch into it, knocking, Oh, what do I want to do that? So that didn't work. The next one was an older, or now he was that. He was a young, he was a young man and he had just come out of it. I was his first client. And so we kind of laid off each other and then I found a woman who again used with Mike Clay, Clay Pottery Lockhart put around and add something. And that's why I like to use your hands and have a about and have other things to do, and not just sitting there gazing at each other. And like, it's like, whose story is the worst story? There's no, and this is another thing I want people to know. Trauma is trauma. There is no level of trauma that's worse than anyone else. Someone could have one incident of trauma that will affect them for the rest of their life, just like someone who's had 10 incidences. Know there's no scale. Trauma is trauma and not to think, Oh, you know, I'm OK. I didn't have it as bad as this or that if it's affecting you, it's just as bad.  [01:13:26][111.1]

Speaker 2: [01:13:27] Well, thank you, Ashley. So much for coming on and and you know, for engaging, for engaging with us and coming to the conference and and giving us your reflections because they're incredibly valuable. And I know that, you know, when we speak for other survivors, we feel like, well, I don't know everything. You know, I don't have all the pieces, but I feel like you're an amazing advocate for Aboriginal survivors and families and and we really appreciate you being here with us.  [01:13:57][29.9]

Speaker 3: [01:13:58] Thank you. I appreciate that.  [01:13:59][1.3]

Speaker 1: [01:14:00] Yeah, thank you as well, Ashley. So you've been listening to partner with Survivor and I'm still David Mandel Executive Director That's everything, you know, and you've been listening to our conversation with Ashley Donohue, which is wonderful. And if you like this podcast, please subscribe. Share it with other people. You know you're listening on one platform. It's all on all these other platforms as well. So Apple Podcasts or Spotify, all those different things.  [01:14:29][28.7]

Speaker 2: [01:14:29] And if you want to go to our website, it is safe and together. Institute dot com. And if you would like to get training in domestic violence aware practices, if you would like to learn how to partner with survivors and not be their savior and have a more effective, engaging practice with them, then go to the academy that safe and together institute dot com. And there is a lot of training on there that you can find, which will assist you in developing those skills.  [01:14:58][28.3]

Speaker 1: [01:14:59] That's right, and we're proud.  [01:14:59][0.0]