Deathscapes

The ‘slow violence’ of letting children die in WA’s Kimberley

Deathscapes

Suvendrini Perera, ‘The “slow violence” of letting children die in WA’s Kimberley’

‘These deaths, twelve of which were found to be suicides, attracted minimal attention from politicians and media. Yet they represent a national catastrophe. They bring to the fore fundamental questions of accountability for young lives, on the part of the state and its agencies.

What unfolds in the inquest findings are stories of lives lived in the shadow of state institutions – government bureaucracies, medical services, housing authorities, child protection services, schools – and their systematic failures. The failures are not single spectacular acts but, rather, are routine and mundane: the outcome of everyday decisions and indecisions, of bureaucratic oversights and misplaced assumptions, or what the coroner describes in the case of some of the departments as ‘missed opportunities’.

Yet in their totality, this chain of ‘missed opportunities’, everyday omissions, and actions incrementally ‘forgotten’ or neglected in the press of other demands adds up to something much more. It represents nothing less than the systematic imposition of a form of slow violence whose lethal consequences continue to unfold over time.’

Read full article: ‘The ‘slow violence’ of letting children die in WA’s Kimberley’


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