MEDIA RELEASE: Protection Denied: Abuse Condoned - Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru (AWSWN) Report on the women at risk on Nauru

Sydney, 7 June 2016


This ground-breaking report on the rape and assaults on women on Nauru was written by Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru (AWSWN) on the impacts Australia’s detention policy is having on the lives and bodies of women on Nauru. 

The report documents the Australian governments deliberate policy of sending women who have already been exposed to sexual violence to a place where they are exposed to further violence. It details the lack of serious investigation and lack of accountability in relation to this violence and the dearth of appropriate services. 

It reveals the shocking damage by both the abuse and the lack of care and concern on the part of consecutive Australian governments.

The report is the result of a collaboration between women in Australia and the women in Nauru.

The report, Protection Denied: Abuse Condoned, outlines the evidence of abuse and exploitation and details the grooming the Australian community have been exposed to and lays out a set of recommendations to ensure Australia once again joins the international community and protects those who come to this country for protection. 

The report makes an overwhelmingly compelling case to close detention centres that have become crime scenes for many of the women living in them and argues the nation of Nauru is not safe for refugee and asylum seeker women.

“Putting theses detention centres on Nauru has not only destroyed the lives of many women, it has ensured the democracy of Nauru itself is enfeebled,” said Professor Carmen Lawrence. “The centres will close and when they do if we have not begun the work of building some resilience and capacity on Nauru, the people of Nauru will be again left exposed by Australia’s predation,” she concluded.

“This report is about protection denied by an Australian government which is calling for respect for women and an end to violence against women – in Australia. At the same time government policy is ensuring other women are left as prey in isolated, insecure housing on Nauru,” said Pamela Curr, Asylum Resource Centre and co-author.

“Some of these stories are known to some people, but nowhere have these stories been bought together in the political and policy context of Australian life,” said Julie Macken, co-author. “This report was written from the perspective of women on the issues of violence against women and is a first both nationally and internationally,” concluded Macken.

Link to the report below.

Women of Nauru Report