The fight to save the women on Nauru has become desperate. They are not safe there and, if we don’t act quickly, lives will be lost.
Two conversations are going on in Australia right now. One says that women need to be protected from domestic violence, that Australian women deserve to feel safe where they live and that anyone who contributes to that violence is, to quote our current Prime Minister, ‘Un-Australian’. The other conversation says that women and children who came to Australia seeking a safe place to live deserve to be dumped on Nauru where they are being threatened, abused and raped at a terrifying rate.
One of these conversations needs to change, and I think it’s clear which one.
There are disturbing stories emanating from Nauru almost daily and, while they are hard to listen to, they need to be shared so that the truth of Prison Island can be known. There is a young Somali woman on Nauru who has been raped. As a result of that assault she is now pregnant and she wants to terminate, but abortion is illegal in Nauru. So far, the Turnbull government has refused to bring her to Australia for the procedure and she is now more than 12 weeks pregnant.
This woman fled a war zone, she asked our government for help and was instead put straight back into harms way on Nauru. She now needs our care because of the shocking trauma she endured as a result of our government’s policies and the answer has been, to quote our former Prime Minister, ‘nope, nope, nope’. The sheer brutality of that is almost unthinkable.
There are other women, some who were raped in the camp and others who were raped in the community. Some have been transferred to Australia because of the injuries they suffered in those terrible attacks. Some, like this young Somali woman, are being left on the island to fend for themselves.