How do you stop child abuse in Aboriginal communities?

1/ Better, more appropriate and just more housing so that children have their own room with a door. At least a girls room and a boys room.

It should be noted that many perpetraters of child abuse are children themselves, often family. My guess this is more the case than adult predation.

The drunken people should be sleeping well away from where the children are sleeping, preferably a different building.

2/ Take the focus of funding and program design in areas of domestic violence and child abuse away from the women and empower the men to deal with it.

Most perpetrators are men, it is mens business. The women cannot change the behaviours and value systems of the men, only men can.  The best women can do is provide emergency  institutional protection such as shelters which are bandaids after the fact. The violence needs to stop, not be compensated for or accomodated.  Only the perpetrators of violence have the capacity to stop violence.

3/ Acknowledge and empower customary law so that communities can deal with their own problems rather than going the police and courts path which takes years, is traumatic for the victim and convictions are very hard to achieve. Families are torn asunder when the experience could actually strengthen and unite them if done properly.

1,2,3 is obviously simplistic and incomplete, but unless there is a major change of direction of the present failing strategies and paradigms, nothing will change. A Boosting of status-quo paradigms such as the NT intervention only reinforces the structural dysfunction.

It should be noted that child abuse exists in mainstream Australian communities at aproximately the same rate as in Aboriginal communities. If there is even a grain of truth in my above prescription it is also relevant to mainstream Australia, perhaps with the exception of housing issues.

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3 Comments

Filed under Aboriginal, australia, justice, politics, reconciliation, society

3 responses to “How do you stop child abuse in Aboriginal communities?

  1. Alaikumu’as-salam

    and Hi,

    I have a very specificially oriented point of veiw about the situation of real prevention of instances of actual problems with child abuse in Aboriginal communities.

    I believe that there is a mass of very readily available evidence (in sociology, anthropology, and psychology) which points to the fact of the abuse being only possible in conditions in which men are being prevented from being the protectors in a household. That is to say, most instances are better labelled as children entering into sexual activity too young, before they are emotionally and mentally and physically ready, and that happens when children have seen things between adults which are adult only business. That might have been DV, or grog abuse, and in our culture the fact of children acting out, need not mean that they have actually seen adults engaging in sexual conduct. In our culture it only means that children’s MINDS have become exposed to young to a want of becoming better equipped to understand what an adults obligations are.

    If children’s minds are being exposed so as that they are caused to want of an adults responsibility, then clearly the pattern of abuse is only that of a real loss of having a father’s presence strongly protective in mind at all times.

    Aboriginal culture is so very strong in patterns of having important family and clan patriachs, even where it is a matriach that blood lines are traced through; so obviously the problem is not about the traditional culture.

    What else could it be that is preventing Aboriginal men from being a protective influence in the development of their children’s ideals and desire to attain social place, if it is not the fact of how those men have been themselves mentally abused by police and in the prisons.

    It is an obvious fact of the way men are distressed upon leaving prison that when they have been physically abused into becoming tolerant of the sexual offenders inside prisons, they are thereafter afraid to expose their own children to their presence. Not because they fear their own behaviour towards children, but because they will not be wanting their children, usually especially not girl children, to be forgiving of their father in what he has experienced in his past incarceration.

    The whole situation with the Army and AFP going into remote communities is so absurd that it ridicules the entire nation. Is Australia a nation at war with the very concept of the fact that the Aboriginal race is showing all the social signs of a people who have been at a disadvantage in war for over 200 years? If Aboriginal Australians were not showing such signs, then there would not be a nation state here.

    If anybody really wanted to acheive any improvement for Aboriginal children, they would be assessing the conditions in prison and why the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal Australians has been so high.

    Thanks for reading my comment.

    Alaikumu’as-salam waramathallahi warabarakathuaha Becky Copas nungarrayi

  2. Becky,

    Thank you for raising the issue of prison. It is a glaring ommission in what I have written above.

    This is not just important in understanding where the problems come from but the reform of the criminal injustice system is also a necessary immediate step to deal with the problems.

  3. No problem, and thanks for your acknowledgement. When we can begin to realise how the economy is being regulated by those whom fear what they are doing with their money, and so in their fear, they try to blame Aborigines; then we can also accept more fully what it will take to undermine the systems in which legislative governance is used to perpetrate injustice.

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