Indigenous leader says colonisation partly to blame for high rates of child sex abuse in Aboriginal communities
A prominent Indigenous community advocate says colonization is partly responsible for the high rates of child sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities.
Marcia Ella-Duncan was part of a panel on the SBS show The point discussing the political future for Indigenous Australians after the Voice to Parliament referendum was defeated.
Ms Ella-Duncan, the first Indigenous netballer to play for the Australian Diamonds, said Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Coalition Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price were “highlighting (sexual abuse in) remote communities”.
“The abuse of children happens in every community, among rich people, poor people, it doesn't matter, there are no racial barriers,” she said.
“But one of the things I find very offensive … is that they are singling out remote communities.”
A prominent Indigenous community advocate has said colonization is partly responsible for the high rates of child sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities. Stock photo
Ms Ella-Duncan acknowledged that “child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities is much worse, as far as I know, both statistically and anecdotally in our communities.
“But the whole issue of child sexual abuse must be understood … in the context of colonization and living in poverty and the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse and intergenerational trauma,” she said.
“It's not just that someone comes along and says, 'Here's a child who's been neglected, I'm going to do terrible things to him.'
The lawyer, whose three brothers played rugby for the Wallabies, said the issue of child sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities was “very complex”.
“To address this, we also need to address many of the underlying issues,” she said. 'We have no voice for that.
“And in fact, the many investigations (into this issue) in most jurisdictions… have all said the same thing, which is that the solutions lie with Aboriginal communities.”
She added that “our local communities must be given the resources and powers to develop the solutions.
“Now (those reports) have been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for ten years.”
Show co-host Narelda Jacobs then added that “perpetrators of child sexual abuse against First Nations children are not necessarily First Nations people.”
In October, Ms. Price blasted the federal government after it rejected its efforts to launch a formal investigation into the continued very high level of sexual abuse of Indigenous children.
In an 11-minute video, she said she had “never been so incredibly furious,” fighting back tears at various stages as she described why this issue is so important to her.
During her call for the Government and the cross bench to support a Royal Commission, Ms Price shared several real-life examples of First Nations children being sexually abused.
One such story was about her niece, who at the age of 15 was “beaten and raped by her own father.”
Ms Ella-Duncan (pictured) said Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Coalition Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price highlighted (sexual abuse in) remote communities
'(She) suffered horrific abuse for years and initially tried to get support from family who did not believe her.
“It wasn't until my cousin took her to the police so she could report it that she had the incredible courage to be heard and testify at the age of 17,” Ms Price said.
“The judge in her case said the abuse was prolonged and sustained and involved the use of weapons.”
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