Domestic Violence: Aboriginal Women Ask Australians To Pay Attention To Assaults And Murders

July 11, 2017

Shirleen Campbell placed a flower at the Alice Springs courthouse today for all of the women she will never forget.

Aboriginal women living in town camps around Alice Springs marched through the Todd Mall this morning, asking the Australian public to pay attention to the assaults and murders of women in their communities.

“Enough is enough. We’re not statistics, we’re not numbers, we’re human beings. We’re mums and aunties and grandmothers,” Ms Campbell says.

aboriginal women march for domestic violence
Photo: article supplied

Several of Ms Campbell’s relatives have been killed or assaulted by their partners — two of her aunts were killed within three months of each other in recent years.

“Being a young mum, I don’t want my kids growing up in violence,” she says.

“I’ve experienced it myself and witnessed it, and seen a lot of our female members losing their young lives. Kids are wondering what happened to their mums.”

‘From that day I spoke up’

Five days before Christmas in 2014, Ms Campbell was jolted awake by a bang on the door. It was her brother with the news her aunt was dead.

They were similar in age and were raising their families together on the same street.

Ms Campbell’s aunt, Kwementyaye Murphy, had been terrorised by her violent partner for a decade before she was murdered.

She hoped national newspapers would pay tribute to her aunt, a 36-year-old mother-of-two. She hoped for stories about her “bright and bubbly” personality, her love of family gatherings and the care she gave relatives who came in from the bush to stay with her.

But such a story never came.

“She was a dedicated mum, she’s had wonderful kids, she’s had nieces and nephews. Those people looked up to her.

“It just makes me wild how the news mob put it, they just put it plain and simple. They should have a good story about the person who passed away, you know?”

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