Dras­tic ac­tion needed to pro­tect Ten­nant Creek kids in dan­ger

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

IT took be­ing raped be­fore a twoyear-old girl was re­moved from her “fam­ily” in Ten­nant Creek.

She suf­fered “sig­nif­i­cant and painful” in­juries in the Fe­bru­ary 15 at­tack, af­ter which she tested pos­i­tive for gon­or­rhoea and was given HIV med­i­ca­tion.

It was “not the only vi­o­lence that [she] had been ex­posed to, and ex­pe­ri­enced, in her short life”, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the North­ern Ter­ri­tory chil­dren’s com­mis­sioner.

Wel­fare au­thor­i­ties had known for years about the vi­o­lence, abuse and ne­glect in her home. There had been 52 no­ti­fi­ca­tions about the girl and her older sib­lings.

The re­port found the girl faced “fore­see­able risk of harm [that] could have been man­aged or mit­i­gated”.

And then, last week, we heard of an­other child sex­u­ally as­saulted in the same com­mu­nity, a five-yearold. Only this time po­lice won’t get in­volved be­cause the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor is aged un­der 10, act­ing out what­ever is the norm in an in­dige­nous com­mu­nity now so dys­func­tional it poses a mor­tal threat to chil­dren. This is the na­tional shame of child abuse in the NT.

Yet, there are more tears spilled in this coun­try for an­i­mals than for th­ese de­fence­less chil­dren.

We have Lib­eral MPs ready to cross the floor and an­i­mal ac­tivists scream­ing blue mur­der about a bunch of sheep on a ship but barely a peep about the abuse, mur­der and ne­glect of chil­dren in dys­func­tional in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. Where is the equiv­a­lent of An­i­mals Aus­tralia for suf­fer­ing chil­dren? Where are their hid­den cam­eras?

All we hear from the ac­tivists is “Change Aus­tralia Day!”, “Pull down Cap­tain Cook stat­ues!”, “Say Sorry!”, “Change the Con­sti­tu­tion!”

We would not leave chil­dren in dan­ger in any other com­mu­nity but ev­ery­one is so afraid of be­ing branded racist or cul­tur­ally in­sen­si­tive that they leave in­dige­nous chil­dren to be tor­tured. Au­thor­i­ties are wor­ried about be­ing blamed for an­other “Sto- len Gen­er­a­tion” when what is needed now is a “Res­cued Gen­er­a­tion”.

There is no cul­ture in which rap­ing two-year-olds is ac­cept­able.

Dras­tic ac­tion is needed. Maybe the idea of cash in­cen­tives for drug ad­dicted, abu­sive par­ents not to have any more chil­dren un­til they get their act to­gether would work to stem the epi­demic of child abuse.

But what we know is that the NT’s child pro­tec­tion sys­tem has failed, again. Th­ese chil­dren need to be res­cued.

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