Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Research Report 2012 - Page 18

17 Definitions Family Violence Definitions of ‘family violence’ in both State and Federal legislation recognise that family violence encompasses a range of behaviours not limited to physical violence. The Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) provides an extremely broad definition of family violence which includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse as well as any behaviour that is threatening, coercive, controlling or dominating and causes a family member to fear for their safety or wellbeing or for the safety or wellbeing of another family member. The definition of ‘family violence’ in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) now includes all of the behaviours listed in the Victorian legislation. This follows amendments that were made in 2011 with the intention of changing the definition to reflect a contemporary understanding of family violence and abuse, including explicitly stating behaviour that is considered unacceptable. The project has been guided by the definition of family violence adopted by Berry Street, a key regional provider of family violence services, which recognises both the multiple behaviours that may constitute family violence and the fact that family violence is not confined to heterosexual intimate partner relationships: ‘Violence is defined as any act which makes another person feel fearful, unsafe and not in control of their own destiny. Family violence can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse. It can occur in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships. Family violence is predominantly, but not exclusively, perpetrated by men against women and children. It occurs in all ethnic and cultural groups, in all kinds of relationships and families, including heterosexual & same-sex relationships & against older people and people with a disability’ CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) ‘CALD’ stands for ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ and is now commonly used to describe those Australians who were born overseas or who are Australia-born with one or both parents (or grandparents) born overseas and who speak a language other than English at home. This term includes migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and is used in preference to the previous descriptor ‘NESB’ or ‘Non-English Speaking Background’. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship adopted the term ‘CALD’ in 1996 in preference to ‘NESB’ in recognition of the fact that this is a diverse group within Australian society and barriers or 29 disadvantages that may be faced by this group are not necessarily the product of language alone. 30 The term ‘CALD’ also avoids defining a whole group by what they are lacking rather than recognising that Australia is made up of a diverse group of people from different backgrounds all of whom contribute to Australian society. In this way Australia itself can be described as ‘CALD’ however in this instance the term has generally been used to define those Australians who are originally from non-English speaking countries, or who come from non-English speaking backgrounds 29 Sawrikar, P & Katz, I ‘How useful is the term ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) in Australian research, practice, and policy discourse?’, Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW, 4 30 The Department of Immigration and Citizenship identified four major problems with the term NESB including: (i). the term has conflicting definitions; (ii). it groups people who are relatively disadvantaged with those who are not disadvantaged; (iii). it is unable to separately identify the many cultural and linguistic groups in Australian society and (iv). it has developed negative connotations (Department of Immigration and Citizenship, The Guide: Implementing the Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, 2001).