Last week The Age reported that an “asylum seeker ha[s] been charged over the sexual assault of a Macquarie University student”. We at RISE write this statement to condemn all acts of gendered violence. With many of our members having endured gendered and physical violence, often at a level that has been sanctioned or orchestrated by the state from which they are fleeing, we remain unflinching in our support for the survivors of gendered violence.
We condemn the racist, fear-mongering being pedalled by the Opposition in reaction to this alleged act of violence. Coalition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison’s call for a freeze on bridging visas and his demand for asylum seekers and refugees in the community to report their whereabouts to police smacks of racist criminalisation – painting all refugees and asylum seekers in community detention or on bridging visas as criminals needing to be constantly surveilled by law enforcement.
We reject any description of gendered violence as a distinctly “cultural” trait, attributable to particular communities. This representation often gets used as a mode of racist scapegoating and does not address how patriarchal violence is a systemic issue, found across borders and identities.
We at RISE assert our position as staunch allies and organisers against gendered violence as well as organisers fighting to combat racist representations of our communities such as that being deployed by the Opposition at this time.
No to gendered violence. No to racist criminalisation.