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Labor's first Indigenous MP Nova Peris has challenged the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to advocate for more action in tackling alcohol-related domestic violence.
In a powerful speech, Senator Peris said alcohol-related domestic violence was on the rise and ruining the lives of Aboriginal women.
She told the launch of the AMA's national women's health policy that the AMA must use its high standing in the community to 'advocate for more action in tackling alcohol-related domestic violence'.
'Today I call on the AMA to formally adopt a policy position that supports the principle that people who have committed alcohol-related domestic violence be banned from purchasing alcohol at the point of sale. The technology to implement point-of-sale bans exists; it is cost effective and has been proven to work.'
Senator Peris said in the Northern Territory (NT), an Indigenous woman is 80 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault than other Territorians.
She criticised the incoming NT government's August 2012 decision to scrap the banned drinker register. 'Around twenty-five hundred people were on the banned drinker register when it was scrapped. Domestic violence perpetrators were again free to buy as much alcohol as they liked. As predicted by police, lawyers and doctors, domestic violence rates soared.'
Senator Peris said she had met with doctors, nurses and staff from the emergency department in Alice Springs and they confirmed these statistics represent the true predicament they faced every day. She said the NT faces enormous issues with Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Senator Peris's speech was well received by the AMA, which committed to taking on her challenge.
Source: The Australian