Aboriginal women and children experience family violence at disproportionately high rates, with Aboriginal women 32 times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to be hospitalised from family violence.
The ABC recently reported that two women were evacuated from a remote Aboriginal community in northern Western Australia amid allegations of prolonged sexual and physical assaults.
It is the latest in a string of disturbing domestic violence cases in remote Kimberley towns that have highlighted gaps in services and the complex cultural context making it almost impossible for women to escape.
The two women had been living with a man in a house within a bush community since March.
In mid-September they sought help from local police, alleging they had been subjected to repeated sexual and physical violence.
People who spoke to the women in the hours after they came forward say they alleged the man held them against their will at the time, and took control of their bankcards and money.
Speaking to the ABC on condition of anonymity, a social worker called the alleged victims “two of the bravest women I’ve ever met”.
“Violence is normalised in the communities here, but this case has blown me out of the water.”
She said it should be a wake-up call about the severity of the violence occurring in remote communities.
“I feel like this would not be allowed to happen in the city — it would be leading the 6:00pm news and people would be outraged.“