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Aboriginal Women: Time to Change Your Future



In 2014, ABC News stated that ‘Aboriginal women are forty-eight times more likely to be hospitalised from family violence and almost eleven times more likely to be killed as a result of violent assault.’[1] This statement engendered discussions that Aboriginal women are probably, the most legally disadvantaged group in Australia. For Tina Haywood, author of recently published, We are Warriors: An Aboriginal Woman’s Life, the word, disadvantaged, is offensive. ‘I stand against violence against women and children,’ Tina passionately states, ‘and this affliction transcends colour and creed.’

Nevertheless, Tina shares raw and disturbing insights, in her debut publication, about being one of these Aboriginal women. Growing up, her father was quick with his fists and his verbal abuse to all family members. Further, Tina was sexually abused at a young age by someone claiming to be a friend to the family. Yet, despite such a traumatic upbringing, Tina has found the strength and determination to rise up from an environment that could have trapped her in a spiral of depression and substance abuse; a legacy that overwhelms many Aboriginal women.

Yet, when searching for more information on statistics, data is outdated. In fact, The Conversation, undertook a fact-check in 2016, on the above ABC quote, and as reported by Professor Marcia Langton[2], at that time, the Federal Government should have made this malaise, ‘a high-priority issue’.

Tina agrees with this, but also states that a movement about this should be self-engineered. As she explains in her memoir, everyone reaches a point trying to figure out what on earth to do with their life stating that, ‘It’s up to each of us to take control of our lives.’ Tina, who now works for the Department of Defence, is determined to spread the message to all Aboriginal women. By sharing her story, she wants to lead by example and hopes to provide guidance and encouragement.



[1] ABC News Australian Broadcast (2014), Aboriginal women 48 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault ABC News Australian Broadcast, viewed October 2020, <https://YouTube/w-UKFQo4uE0>

[2] The Conversation (2016), FactCheck Q&A: are Indigenous women 34-80 times more likely than average to experience violence?, viewed October 2020, <https://theconversation.com/factcheck-qanda-are-indigenous-women-34-80-times-more-likely-than-average-to-experience-violence-61809>