Whyman, T., Murrup-Stewart, C., Young, U. M., Carter, A., & Jobson, L. (2024). Strategies for coping and dealing with lateral violence among Aboriginal people living in south-east Australia. Australian Journal of Psychology, 76(1), 2347646. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530.2024.2347646
ABSTRACT

Lateral violence, a group of behaviours directed towards people of the same group, is considered endemic among Aboriginal people. Behaviours include bullying, gossiping, isolation or exclusion of certain group members, and challenges to one’s Aboriginal identity. Lateral violence impacts all aspects of one?s life. Due to its pervasiveness, this qualitative study investigated strategies employed by Aboriginal people to deal with lateral violence. Yarns with 17 knowledge-holders (53% male, 47% female; aged between 18 and 65 years) took place in south-east Australia. Thematic analysis and yarn summaries were used to analyse the yarns. Strategies identified to deal with lateral violence included changes to one’s attitude towards lateral violence, connecting with others, one’s culture and community to improve wellbeing, education strategies, and systemic change. Supporting the development of Aboriginal identity, promoting social and emotional wellbeing, and true self-determination has the potential to heal Aboriginal communities and reduce lateral violence in the process. What is already known about this topic: Lateral violence refers to a group of overt and covert behaviours including bullying, gossiping, family feuding, workplace conflict, and isolating or excluding certain members of the community.Lateral violence has recently been extended to encompass attacks on one’s Indigeneity and identity.Lateral violence not only impacts the targeted individual, but also one’s family, friends, and community. Lateral violence refers to a group of overt and covert behaviours including bullying, gossiping, family feuding, workplace conflict, and isolating or excluding certain members of the community. Lateral violence has recently been extended to encompass attacks on one’s Indigeneity and identity. Lateral violence not only impacts the targeted individual, but also one’s family, friends, and community. What this topic adds: Aboriginal people employ many strategies to cope, and deal, with lateral violence.A strong sense of one’s Indigeneity was important for overcoming challenges to one’s identity.Systemic change, including a focus on Aboriginal self-determination, is important for SEWB and overcoming lateral violence. Aboriginal people employ many strategies to cope, and deal, with lateral violence. A strong sense of one’s Indigeneity was important for overcoming challenges to one?s identity. Systemic change, including a focus on Aboriginal self-determination, is important for SEWB and overcoming lateral violence.