Decolonising Family Violence Intervention Orders in the South Sudanese Australian (SSA) Community in Victoria
Miss Akuch Anyieth1
1La Trobe University, Melbourne , Australia
South Sudanese-Australian families, in general, encounter challenges during their settlement period, and these can be worsened by the perpetration of, victimisation by, and witnessing of family and domestic violence. South Sudanese-Australian (SSA) families are caught between two cultures: Australian and South Sudanese. They are generally included in mainstream Australian studies, culturally and linguistically diverse, or ‘African communities’ family and domestic violence studies without consideration of the diversity of African cultures, languages and practices. This study distinguishes this group by examining experiences of family violence intervention orders within the SSA community in Victoria. The study examines whether orders serve their intended purpose as a form of intervention and protection from family violence within the SSA community in Victoria, how SSA navigate and negotiate family violence intervention orders, and what role the SSA cultural practices play when navigating and negotiating family violence intervention orders. The study takes an intersectional approach by keeping SSA past traumatic experiences in a war and refugee camps, and their experiences of social inequalities in the host country Australia in view. The study objective is to provide a clearer and non-colonial approach to family violence intervention/prevention in the SSA community. The study is informed by gender inequality and feminist theory, and adopts a decolonial approach while employing the use of qualitative research to collect semi-structured in-depth interviews with SSA participants. It seeks to reveal the specific needs and resources of this community, and to map culturally appropriate strategies for addressing family violence issues.
Akuch Anyieth is a graduate researcher in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies. Her research interests broadly cover masculinity, domestic violence, and the law. Currently, she is researching family violence court orders between South Sudanese intimate partners. Her work weaves together, South Sudanese customary laws, pre-post migration experiences of South Sudanese families and their adaptation of the western rules of law in the diaspora.