Brough/Howard’s “Shock and Awe” in the N.T. – nothing in particular to report?

The news earlier tonight has confirmed that there will be no compulsory medical examinations of all Aboriginal children 16 and under living in the Northern territory, as was previously announced by the saviours of Aboriginal children, John Howard and Mal Brough.    As I write this I am listening to the late T.V. news with the story of an advance party of the federal forces  descending on another community today.   They had a bit of a chin-wag and announced that there will be more police and soldiers arriving on Friday.  The problem is, according to the T.V. reporter, nobody had any idea why the troops were coming or what they were going to do.

I wrote some stuff about “Shock and Awe” a few days ago on Andrew Bartletts blog. 

I wrote……….

On the 26/6/07 the Courier Mail ran a very small article by Margaret Wenham on page 7 entitled “Statistics show backgrounds don’t count” I haven’t found a link to it.

That edition of the Courier Mail, like many recently, was running many headline stories about dealing with child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. But this small article contained the following statistics from the Queensland Child Safety Department.

“According to the data collected for 2005-06, 56 indigenous children were found to have been sexually abused, equating to a rate of 0.9 children per 1000 indigenous children aged 0-17 years. This compared to a rate of 0.6 children per 1000 non-indigenous children.”

It seems that there is one third of one percent difference in the incidence of shild sex abuse in Qld Aboriginal communities and the mainstream.

I draw this to your attention, not to say “it’s not that bad in Aboriginal communities” but to say that we have been ignoring mainstream child welfare and rape and incest workers who have been trying to draw attention to the problem of incest and child abuse for decades.

It is not with any disregard to the urgency of realistic and serious healing in Aboriginal and mainstream communities that I say…… It is absurd to suggest sending the military into the suburbs of Brisbane to weed out child abusers, or to resume suburban backyards to protect the children. The Howard and Brough campaign of Shock and Awe is as absurd as it is racist.

and then I wrote……….. 

The point of my above post was that incest and child abuse affects us all, black or white.
The media hysteria about abuse in Aboriginal communities is adding a great deal of untruth into the discussion (e.g.the recent N.T. report said there was no evidence of pedophilia in Mutijulu yet this community is the prime tatrget of this hysterical approach)

This untruth conforms to the colonial myth that civilised society does not engage in such wickedness. Both Howard and Brough have spoken of the breakdown of civilisation in Aboriginal communities.

I believe the single reason for a higher incidence of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities, whatever the margin, is the widespread abuse that occured in orphanages, dormatories and pastoral homesteads by civilised white people including men and women of the cloth.
This sexually abused “class” of people of course has a higher incidence of becoming perpetrators as is the case in maainstream abuse statistics.

Like mainstream abuse statistics, the vast majority of Aboriginal victims of abuse do not become perpetrators.

A very big reason for non-reporting of abuse in Aboriginal communities is because the end product of this is further trauma for victims during the court process which can take years. There is no healing comes from the process and because evidence of secret crimes is hard to get there is often insufficient evidence to convict and often not enough to even prosecute.

Mainstream rape and incest workers have been telling us for years that exactly the same thing occurs with victims of abuse in mainstream communities.

Bartlett’s comments and discussion on “Shock and Awe”

In the absence of any developments of significance in dealing with child sexual abuse, and no apparent strategy to deal with the problem in the future, it is becoming clearer every day that the dual purpose of this military sensation is to beat up an election profile and to destroy the Northern Territory Land Rights act – nothing to do with child abuse at all.

 See also “Too much consultation with Aboriginal communities; talk,talk,talk,talk,talk….”


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