Most women in prisons have gone through violent or sexual abuse. These already vulnerable women are then subjected to more abuse from the state. They need people to start speaking out for them, not judging them.
As an advocate for First Nation women prisoners, especially Yamatji prisoners, I find the present situation disturbing. Prisoner numbers just keep growing and new prisons keep getting built. I have learned that the number of First Nations women being locked up is growing at a faster rate than any other demographic. These women, who have more than likely encountered an aggressive police officer or two, are taken from their children or, even worse, their children are put in state care. Prison breaks up families, causing more social issues back in the community.
Women detainees also face violations of their bodies via multiple strip searches. What the average Australian would call a violation of a woman’s body is done legally in prison. The prison system legally violates a woman’s body in the name of law and order.
I support prison abolition and while people are being locked away in cages, I will continue to be an abolitionist. There is not only a strong need to abolish the police force but an even stronger need to abolish the prison system. They work hand in hand, the police and prison systems.
[Deborah Green is a Yamatji woman and writer.]
MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who twice broke an opponent’s skull to win a match, has been called the bravest athlete in history. Fox, a male to female transgender athlete, destroyed Erika Newsome in a Coral Gables, FL, MMA fight during which she “secured a grip on Newsome’s head… With her hands gripping the back of Newsome’s skull, she delivered a massive knee, bringing her leg up while pulling her opponent’s head down. The blow landed on Newsome’s chin and dropped her, unconscious, face-first on the mat.” That was Newsome’s last pro fight.
LGBT publication names former US navy specialist Fallon Fox, who then identified as a woman and became an MMA women’s fighter, during which time they fractured an opponent’s skull, as ‘the bravest athlete in history’https://t.co/ql7IOuMAXH
Fox also beat Tamikka Brents, giving her a concussion and breaking 7 orbital bones. But that’s super brave, too, taking an unfair, male-bodied advantage and using it to give female-bodied opponents brain injuries.
“Horrific stories of police strip-searches continue to come to light, including from children as young as 10 years old who were directed to strip naked, squat and cough, lift their genitals, and have a police officer look into their body cavities, without the support of a parent or guardian present,” Samantha Lee, the police accountability lawyers from the Redfern Legal Centre alleged.
“By seeking long-overdue justice for people who have been unlawfully searched, this class action is also an important step toward achieving change to prevent more traumatic and unnecessary strip searches in NSW.”
Four days ago, the police officer charged with the murder of Aboriginal woman Joyce Clarke entered a not guilty plea. You may not have heard about it. In a search of the Factiva database over the past three months, I found only one article on Ms Clarke’s death – an AAP wire story that privileges the quote of the WA commissioner police over that of Ms Clarke’s community (‘it was, the report said, ‘one of the saddest days’ in his career). Earlier today, NITV published a piece quoting Ms Clarke’s mother.
Two months after Ms Clarke’s death, 19-year-old Aboriginal man Kumanjayi Walker was shot to death in the remote Northern Territory community of Yuendemu. Just like Ms Clarke’s death, media reported police allegations with little challenge.
The matters are now before the courts. But despite both communities coming out immediately in protest, the deaths of Ms Clarke and Mr Walker have failed to reach the same level of Australian outrage when it comes to cases far from our own home.
Western Australia’s response to poverty and homelessness is imprisonment.
Western Australia refuses to change the laws where people who have no criminal convictions are imprisoned if they do not have the capacity to pay a fine. People are languishing in prison for not being able to pay their fines. Single Aboriginal mothers make up the majority of those in prison who do not have the capacity to pay fines. They are living in absolute poverty and cannot afford food and shelter for their children let alone pay a fine. They will never have the financial capacity to pay a fine.
It was shortly before 1am on March 13, 2020 when police rammed down the door to Breonna Taylor’s apartment, awaking her and her partner.
The judge’s order was a “no-knock” warrant, allowing police to enter the property without warning and without identifying themselves as law enforcement. They reportedly drove unmarked vehicles.
Within minutes of them entering her home that night, Taylor, 26, was dead.
Police said Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gun first, wounding an officer in the leg. Walker said that he believed someone was breaking into the home and acted in self-defence.
In return, police shot more than 20 rounds into the home. Walker was injured by gunfire, and Taylor was shot eight times by officers before being pronounced dead at the scene.
Neither Taylor or Walker had any criminal background. No drugs were found, and Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, though that has since been dropped.
Charges against the suspect accused of carrying out the Feb. 24 stabbing attack, which killed a woman and injured another, were updated in court on Tuesday to “murder — terrorist activity.”
Experts said it was the first time anywhere in the world a terrorism charge has been laid over violence tied to the “involuntary celibate” misogynist movement.
Almost 50 deaths in Canada and the United States have been linked to incels, leading to calls to treat their actions as a form of domestic terrorism.
The Australian government approved a large volume of weapons sales to war-torn Mali in the same year the United Nations warned escalating violence was creating an “unprecedented humanitarian disaster” in the West African nation.
Save the Children Australia chief executive Paul Ronalds said arms exports to nations like Mali and Somalia must cease immediately. He said there was an urgent need for greater accountability and transparency on Australia’s arms sales.“We cannot let vested interests and profits take precedence over the lives of children,” Ronalds told the Guardian.“Australians would be rightly appalled to know we were potentially prolonging devastating wars in places like Yemen and Mali, and in doing so, increasing and prolonging the suffering of millions of children.”
After two trials described by Amnesty International as “grossly unfair,” Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.
Sotoudeh, who has dedicated her life to defending Iranian women prosecuted for removing their hijabs in public, has been in the crosshairs of Iran’s theocratic government for years.
Male violence continues to go unchecked in a society that fails to prioritise the safety of vulnerable women and instead often obstructs those who attempt to hold men accountable for their bad behaviour. It is high time our society acknowledged the gendered nature of all violence and gave priority to the protection of women and children.