Deathscapes

Dying Outside 5c - Deaths outside the formal custody of the state

Deathscapes

Deaths outside the formal custody of the state

Two young Indigenous women hold up placards in a crowd at an invasion day protest. One reads 'Always is always will be our land' and the other reads 'Stop killing our people'.

[imagecaption] Invasion Day Protest, Naarm (Melbourne), 2019. Photo: Charandev Singh. [/imagecaption]

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Following Australia’s landmark study into Aboriginal deaths in custody, Bundjalung academic Judy Atkinson was among Indigenous women who called for investigation of the different ways in which Aboriginal women die outside the formal custody of the state.


‘More Aboriginal women have died from violent assault in a number of communities than all the deaths in custody in the states concerned. For example more women have died from violent assaults in one town in the NT over the past five years than all the deaths in custody in the NT over the same period. Likewise in Queensland, more women have died in one community than all the deaths in custody in that State. A serious concern is that often the cause of death is reported as natural eg pneumonia, when the woman has suffered a severe beating three days previously; and too often, no charges are laid. According to a recent report from the Peninsula, five women have died in the last year through violent assaults and no charges have been laid.’ 

Judy Atkinson (1990, 6)



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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