LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – [Yesterday] I woke to a phone call telling me my sister had been killed. I am devastated.
Violence against any person should not be tolerated in our society regardless of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. I have been a victim and also witnessed violence in our communities. We, as a society, must stop this cycle of violence.
We all know the challenges faced here in the Northern Territory with 63 per cent of assault victims being women and 59 per cent of all assault offences associated with domestic violence.
Despite the fact that Aboriginal women in the NT make up only 0.3 per cent of all Australian women, they account for 14 per cent of all the female hospitalisations for assault in the entire country.
Violence of any type is an issue that we as a community cannot remain silent about. It is a conversation we must have, for the sake of our families, friends and colleagues.
For those victims who are unable to get help, we must support them. For the voiceless, we must speak for them. And for those who perpetrate violence, we must collectively condemn their behaviour.
I want my fellow Indigenous Territorians to stand up and ‘no more’. Change will only come if, and when, we all work together.
My sister was allegedly killed in an alcohol fueled incident in a Katherine town camp overnight.
This is why I support taking a hard line on tackling alcohol abuse through a suite of programs including Alcohol Mandatory Treatment, Alcohol Protection Orders and Temporary Beat Locations.
These policies are starting to have an effect, but there is more work to do.
We would all prefer these measures weren’t necessary at all but we are committed to doing whatever it takes to break the cycle of alcohol misuse and violence in our community.
As I have said many times, protecting women and children from violence is my top priority and what happened to my sister has happened to far too many women in the Northern Territory.
I will work with my Cabinet colleagues to introduce tough anti-violence education programs in our schools and homes to break this cycle.
No family should have to endure the trauma of a senseless death.
As long as I am in Parliament, I won’t stop working to turn this situation around and I ask you all to work with me to achieve this.
Bess Price (pictured)
MLA for Stuart