What happened to the Senate inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women?

Public inquiries are held to inform the public of misconduct and begin discussion on how to address issues. So why have we heard nothing about the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women?

The Senate inquiry closed public submissions last December. There is no known future schedule of public hearings, and the inquiry’s methods and ways of working have not been made known to the public. Only one media release – announcing its formation – has ever been issued.

The inquiry itself seems to have gone missing, which worsens the crisis it aims to investigate. This silence speaks to the conditions that make it possible for so many Indigenous women to go missing and be murdered.

In our submission to the inquiry, we highlighted that missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people are never simply “missing”. They do not just vanish from their homes, families and Country. They are violently disappeared.

This is significant because when we examined police investigations into the disappearance of Aboriginal women, the term “missing” seemed to bring with it a pattern of inaction. Missing Indigenous women are typically framed as responsible for their own disappearance.

They do not get afforded the same effort and attention in media and investigations afforded others.

Because of this inaction, there is rarely accountability for violence against Indigenous women. This sets a dangerous pattern where perpetrators know they can get away with acts of violence. We argue this is the underlying cause of the high rates of all forms of violence experienced by Indigenous women.

Source: What happened to the Senate inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women?

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