Aussie feds attempt to interrogate teens over contraceptives
Crime body bid to identify indigenous girls on contraceptives
THE secretive Australian Crime Commission, now using its coercive powers as part of the federal intervention into child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory, is locked in a battle of wills with remote-area doctors and nurses who it believes are under-reporting child abuse.
A Katherine regional health clinic, known as NTD8, won a Federal Court case in Darwin last week. Judge John Reeves ruled that the clinic did not have to provide the ACC with the names and addresses of eight girls aged between 13 and 15 who the clinic had fitted with Implanon contraceptive implants.
The clinic is not permitted to discuss the case but it is known that remote clinics providing services to Aborigines -- most of which have been served notices to hand over medical records about children -- fear crime commission agents want to visit the girls and interrogate them about their sexual partners.
The clinics believe the girls would lose trust in the clinics if they were interrogated.
The clinics are right here - there is something inherently creepy about the state visiting 13 and 14 year old girls on contraceptives to ask them what they have been up to. While there are high rates of sexual abuse among Aboriginal communities, this is hardly the solution for the problem. It is more likely to further entrench the divide between Aboriginal and white Australians, meaning that Aboriginal teen girls no longer trust the clinics.
It seems if you are Aborigine in Australia at the moment the government has the right to control all aspects of your private life, including your autonomy over your own body. The Howard/ Rudd solution to colonisation has been to recolonise these people, exerting control over all areas of public liberty that are taken for granted by white Australians. To be Aborigine in Australia today is to live under a police state, where the Government has the right to reclaim land, restrict access to food and alcohol, to seize anyone's computer, to remove and "assimilate" children and now to interrogate the youth. Considering that this is the same combination of factors that has led to the current situation, one can only assume that the pithy sums being thrown at the intervention are only going to have the effects of entrenching this trauma long-term.