Murder is murder. ⚖️ If Qld coppers 👮‍♂️ can offer a million 💰💰💰dollars reward…then fly to India to bring back an alleged murderer…I wonder if these Qld coppers 👮‍♂️ can do likewise in an effort to try and find our Aboriginal ⚖️ women who have been ‘missing’ for decades? ⚖️

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Hi Amy. Thanks for your detailed and respectful reply.

Point 1. I still feel a person reading 60% of missing Indigenous women were from urban centres may get the strong (mistaken?) impression they are particularly dangerous places which would have been clarified if the % of Aboriginal women who actually live in them had been given.

Point 2. You and Martin appear rather sure you know who the perpetrators (being ‘obscured by the ‘coronial process’ and ‘police’) are. This is based on evidence not tested in court. Martin seems to say they are all (or the vast majority) white men, despite knowing (if he’s as familiar with the homicide research as you tell me) that most homicides are done by people known to the victim and the social circle of Indigenous women will surely contain many Indigenous folk. This seems neither reasonable nor intellectually responsible. It’s the sort of statement I expect from a shock jock.

Point 3. I’m bemused by this response. My point was that the number of disappeared Indigenous women is much smaller than the number of confirmed Indigenous women homicide victims… I struggle to see how anyone can be imprisoned (as distinct from unjustly spending a day or night in a police cell) for being ‘victims of violence’.

Point 4 My point was that the number of confirmed homicide cases in 2000-20 IS rather close to 315. You/Martin could clarify the point by saying how many Indigenous women you are aware of that ARE missing, albeit acknowledging you couldn’t be expected to be comprehensive in the way an institutional body would be.

Thanks again for your response.

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4 Quick points on an interesting article.

Point 1. The writers tell us in big bold print that 60% of missing Indigenous women were from urban centers. Unfortunately they say what %age Indigenous women in the general live in there. This makes the 60% figure largely meaningless and quite possibly trite if it turns out nearly 60% Indigenous women live in such sized settlements. I note the last census found 37% on Indigenous Australians were living in the capital cities but couldn’t find a figure for big towns…But that’s the researcher/writer’s job and it’s a pity it wasn’t done.

Point 2. Martin declares detaining Indigenous women and releasing them is ‘putting them right into the clutches of violent criminals, white men let’s be honest, in the cities of Australia’. Let’s be honest,, Martin, that’s 100kg of dogmatic factual statement balanced on a popsicle stick. Actually that metaphor is too kind. It has no basis of support at all! These women have disappeared. We don’t know how many have been killed and we certainly don’t know the ethnicity of the killers. What we do know though, is Australian homicide is largely intra-racial. If he had availed himself of the work of the Australian Institute of Criminology’s review of Indigenous Homicide Indigenous and non-Indigenous Homicide in Australia which reviewed all known homicides from July 1989 to June 2012 he’d have known that when the Indigenous status of victim and offender are known, 74% of the killers of Indigenous Australians (both genders) were Indigenous (Table 1.) More tellingly, of the victims of non-Indigenous killers only 2.2% were Indigenous, which is in line with the proportion in the general population.

As a final point on the potential vulnerability of released Indigenous female prisoners to disappearance, why didn’t the writer/researcher come up with some numbers? It shouldn’t be too hard to say how many of the disappeared were recently released prisoners, and what proportion they made of the total disappeared. In this case the people who are ‘digging deeper into the data’ appear to have been lazy.

Point 3 The above example shows writer’s failure to avail themselves of the data where we DO have firm numbers, namely the work of the above mentioned Oz Inst of Criminology’s Homicide Monitoring Program. Table A29 (p40) of the most recent report (Homicide in Australia 2019-2020) reveals there were 282 female Indigenous victims of homicide from June 2000-July 2020. Deducting 15% (estimate) for juvenile victims (see table A-27 p 39) I surmise in the order of 60-80 Indigenous women have disappeared in this 20+ year interval (the total killed or missing given in this article is 315).

Two things can be deduced from this. Firstly while each death and disappearance is a tragedy the number of disappeared Indigenous women is markedly smaller than the number of confirmed homicides. If the disappeared Indigenous women is a ‘crisis’ (Amy McQuire’s words) the homicide of Indigenous women is a markedly bigger one, and as has been shown, the offenders tend to be Indigenous men. (That said, the number of killed Indigenous men is even higher than the women). Interestingly the percentage of female homicide victims in this period is 15.7% which is broadly comparable to the 20% figure given for the proportion of disappeared Indigenous women. Indigenous women are clearly a very victimized group.

Point 4: In the last paragraph Martin seems so confident in his data set that he’s planning speeches to the judges before the data’s arrived. He roundly criticizes Andrew Bolt (who would indeed be well advised to stop talking on Indigenous matters) for putting forward false narratives which ‘don’t cut it’ when put against the facts and data. Unfortunately the example he gives is replete with widely held false narratives that don’t cut it when put against publically available data of a far higher quality than the very preliminary data available for disappeared Indigenous women.

Contrary to Martin’s narrative trivial offenders make a VERY SMALL minority of Indigenous Prisoners. The Australian Bureau of Statistics latest census of Australian Prisoners (Prisoners of Australia 2021) found that only 4.7% of sentenced Indigenous prisoners were serving terms of less than 3 months. The median sentence was 2.5 years (table 11). You don’t get that for ‘stealing something worth less than $50’.

It is true Indigenous Australians die in prisons. This is hardly surprising with over 1,200 female and 11 700 male Indigenous prisoners followed over long periods of time. Nevertheless Indigenous prisoners are NOT doing badly compared to non-Indigenous prisoners in terms of death rate. In fact over the last 16 years Indigenous prisoners have been dying at a LOWER rate than non-Indigenous Prisoners, See the Oz Inst of Crim’s Deaths in Custody, Statistical Report 37 table D5 page 45).

With regards to the ‘harm’ prison does, the evidence is clear that when it comes to health and mortality prisons do a far better job keeping their charges alive than these individuals do post prison. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare did a comprehensive assessment of the health of prisoners (The Health of Australia’s Prisoners 2018) and found prisoners about to exit reported their physical and mental health to be better (page 62-3) and that the death rate in the year post prison soars by a factor of 5! (p 156-8). Reading the report makes it clear that prisons have become austere health farms for people (all races) who as a group do not look after their health well. I know Martin may find this truth intellectually foreign but the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare speaks with an authority on this matter that he and like- minded people simply do not match. Quite simply Martin’s narratives ‘don’t cut it’ when put against the authoritative data.

Critical thinking is wonderful. Unfortunately many people reserve it for critiquing people they disagree with. It is much more valuable and wise to also use it on your own thinking. Martin Hodgson’s thinking would be much more valuable if he took this truth to heart.

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