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Culture no excuse for violence: Joyce

AAP logoAAP 19/11/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says Aboriginal perpetrators of domestic violence cannot play the culture card to excuse their crimes.

The comments come after three leading indigenous women said shocking rates of family violence in indigenous communities was being dismissed as a "matter of culture".

"You cannot beat another human being up. Doesn't matter whether you're black, white or brindle," Mr Joyce said on Saturday in Darwin.

"It is against the law, it is against all rules of decency. What those Aboriginal ladies are saying is the bleeding obvious."

University of Melbourne Professor Marcia Langton, Alice Springs Councillor Jacinta Price and Josephine Cashman from the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council have teamed up to demand a national task force to combat the crisis.

The trio criticised the government's national action plan, saying perpetrators get away with their crimes by arguing they themselves are victims of trauma, racism and colonisation.

The Nationals leader said government policy needs a pragmatic approach.

"You can't philosophise about all the reasons that they might have hit them," Mr Joyce said.

In a panel at the National Press Club on Thursday, Professor Langton said Aboriginal women are up to 35 times more likely than non-indigenous women to be hospitalised because of domestic violence and kinship ties were often used to keep victims silent.

"We are witnessing the Stockholm Syndrome writ large by indigenous perpetrators and their government and agency partners explaining this horrible situation as a matter of culture," Prof Langton said.

"This is the most racist of all stereotypes, so much worse than Bill Leak's cartoon of an Aboriginal man asking the police officer for his son's name."

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