Corina Abraham says she is nearing the end of a life spent trying to escape the pain of child sex abuse.
It breaks the 43-year-old’s heart that the same pain this week overwhelmed her beloved 11-year-old niece, who, having been repeatedly raped and molested during her childhood, seemingly took her own life on Tuesday.
The girl’s death, from injuries that West Australian police suspect were self-inflicted, has again forced community leaders, politicians and the bureaucracy to examine the scourge of Indigenous youth suicide.
“Accountability in our community needs to happen, no matter how hard it is,” Ms Abraham told The Australian from her ¬dialysis chair in the southern Perth suburb of Spearwood on Wednesday. “We have to do it to save our kids.”
Ms Abraham says Australia must start with the terrible truth about intergenerational abuse, and the endless cycles of sexual crimes inside big families riven with trauma.
She said she self-harmed and drank to forget the horror of being molested and raped by older Indigenous men — some of whom were known to her extended family — and her chronic alcohol use ultimately led to kidney failure.
“My little niece, I can picture her so upset, and I know what would have been going through her mind because it went through my mind too,” she said.
Members of the little girl’s family had been known to social workers for a long time. Some had received help because they were homeless while others had been taken into state care. The little girl, one of several children and a member of Ms Abraham’s extended family, had endured unfathomable pain in her life. She disclosed that she was raped in late 2019 and in April this year her father took his life aged in his 30s.
For Ms Abraham, the tragedy of the young relative lost tells her little has changed since she was abused some 30 years ago. “Some of these perpetrators learned this criminal behaviour on the missions and it has become normalised in families,” she said. “I am ill, I am getting to the end of my life and I want to see change. We can’t keep going like this.”
You can read the whole story by clicking here.