SA drug bill risks another Stolen Gen: Aboriginal Health Council

InDaily, March 21st, 2018

The head of South Australia’s peak Aboriginal health body has warned that a State Government plan to enforce mandatory drug treatment on young people risks dispossessing Aboriginal children of their culture.

Aboriginal Health Council state branch CEO Shane Mohor has joined a growing chorus of social service and health bodies that have criticised the Controlled Substance (Youth Treatment Orders) Amendment Bill currently before state parliament.

People with disability are more likely to be victims of crime – here’s why

The Conversation, February 22, 2019 6.06am AEDT

Some of our most vulnerable citizens have been beaten, raped, and even killed at the hands of those supposedly caring for them.

The statistics are alarming. Up to 90% of women with disability have been sexually assaulted. And people with disability are three times as likely to die prematurely than the general population from causes that could have been prevented with better quality care.

But to provide victims with justice, we need to better understand why people with disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and assault.

Report: Gay and Transgender Prejudice Killings in NSW in the Late 20th Century

ACON, May 2018

Australia has a long history of violence towards people from sexual and gender minorities, stretching from colonisation to the present day. This Report looks at what has been a tragic and shameful episode in Sydney’s history.

ACON, in conjunction with key partners, has undertaken a review of the initial list of 88
homicide cases that occurred during the period t from the 1970s through to the 1990s.

The key findings from this review include:

1. Homicides occurred in three main spaces, with majority of victims being killed in their own homes, followed by beats, and other locations which mostly include gay and other social spaces.

2. In general, there was little or no pre-existing relationship between assailants and their victims.

3. Where killings happened in the victim’s house, the victim was more likely to be known to the assailant, albeit in a minor way, whereas there was generally no existing relationship between the victim and assailant where the killing occurred at the beat or gay social spaces.

4. Generally, spaces where people were murdered were private, secluded or isolated, which meant the assailant was less likely to be interrupted, and this impacted the victim’s ability to call out for help.

5. The scenarios in all the spaces were commonly sexualised, or where people could be disinhibited by the consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

6. Assailants employed a variety of killing methods and, in general, inflicted several forms of violence upon their victims. The type of attack and the weapons used varied according to the location where the killings was carried out, whether in the victim’s home, at a beat or in gay social areas.

7. There is evidence of serial killings by gangs of young men as well as lone assailants.

8. From available information, it appears groups of assailants tended to kill their victims at beats or social spaces whereas individual assailants killed their victims in private residences.

9. There is information to indicate homophobia was likely involved in approximately 50% of listed cases; however the two cases involving transgender women do not appear to have been motivated by transphobia.

10. Of the initial 88 cases on the original list, approximately 30 remain unsolved.

What does the Anna Stubblefield case teach us about sentencing and sexual assault?

A former chair of philosophy at Rutgers University had sex with a man who can’t speak. The resulting court battle raised questions about when and why suffering matters in sentencing — and Anna Stubblefield went to jail.

Stubblefield had slept with a man known only by the pseudonym DJ, who has cerebral palsy and to this day has never spoken.

That’s not to say he can’t communicate, though it’s not to say he can, either — that’s what is at issue.

Read more here 

Study suggests drug criminalization undermining global HIV/AIDS efforts

Medical News Today, May 2017

The criminalization of drugs is a leading factor in the world’s HIV epidemic and a potential barrier to eradicating HIV/AIDS, say researchers who’ve undertaken a sweeping review of research on laws and policies prohibiting drug use. Assistant professor Kora DeBeck of SFU’s School of Public Policy, who is a research scientist with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, is co-lead of the study, published in The Lancet.

 

An end to direct questioning by abusive partners in family law proceedings

Women’s Legal Services Australia, 10th May 2017

Women’s Legal Services Australia (WLSA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement that it will be introducing legislation to amend the Family Law Act 1975 to prohibit the direct cross-examination of victims of violence in family law proceedings.

Being directly questioned in court by an abusive ex-partner is not only traumatising it also affects the victim’s ability to give evidence.  This can prevent important information being made available to the court to protect children from violence in family law proceedings. Ending the cross-examination by violent ex-partners is a practical and important step to empower victims to give evidence without fear.

The Government has also announced additional funding for Community Legal Centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and the family law court system. WLSA welcomes greater investment in these areas.

  • You can read the media release in response to the announcement here
  • You can read the Australian Government’s announcement here