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While this is a view that some people may possibly take, the damage and impact caused by not doing anything about lateral violence is, in my view, far greater than the risk of speaking out.

Lateral violence is often described as ‘internalised colonialism’ [T]he organised, harmful behaviours that we do to each other collectively as part of an oppressed group: within our families; within our organisations and; within our communities.When the time came to consider the drafting of this Chapter this year, I was concerned to achieve a balance between what could be seen as the identification of another one of these dysfunctions and the need to address an issue that has serious implications for us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.I have had to think long and hard about being open and honest about the damage that lateral violence does in our communities; am I contributing to the further demonisation of our people?There seems to be a considerable appetite within our communities to confront and deal with lateral violence.I have been similarly challenged by how to confront this issue and how to get the balance right between painting lateral violence as another problem of a troubled people and explaining its historical context without apportioning blame.

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