Friday, November 13, 2009

Aboriginal Women & Domestic Violence

From NT News:
A DARWIN magistrate has said Aboriginal victims of domestic violence have faces like "squashed tomatoes".

Alasdair McGregor was sentencing a man who kicked his girlfriend in the face while they were both in the back of a police paddy wagon.

He said many Aboriginal women bore the scars of violence.

"For a large part of the community, while the males may have more symmetrical faces, so many of the women have faces more or less like a squashed tomato," he said.

"This is not hereditary, this is not evolution. This is repeated thumpings, punchings, bashings, kickings, hitting with rocks, hitting with sticks."

Mr McGregor said he was "quite certain" the violence came from white men as well as Aboriginal men.

"And some of these women are so ugly that one has to wonder what sort of a self esteem that woman could have," he said.

"Yet they persevere. Some stick with their men."

Mr McGregor sentenced Craig Clayton to spend four months in jail before he goes to an alcohol rehabilitation centre over the September assault.

Clayton pleaded guilty to the charge, and his lawyer Glen Dooley asked that he go straight to the Katherine rehab centre.

But Mr McGregor said the community needed to see Clayton spend some actual time in prison.

Two days earlier, the magistrate told a court that victims were "bit players" in court proceedings, before moving a court case away from the alleged victim to Alice Springs where the defendant lives.

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