Child protection staff turned a blind eye to Aboriginal men sexually assaulting underage girls because of ‘cultural reasons’

Child protection staff turned a blind eye to Aboriginal men sexually assaulting underage girls because of ‘cultural reasons’, by Brianne Tolj.

Child protection case managers in the Northern Territory underwent mandatory training four years ago after it was revealed a small number of staff members ignored relationships between young girls and much older men because of Aboriginal cultural practices. …

‘The age of consent in the Territory is 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age cannot ‘consent’ to sexual intercourse.’ …

The leaked memo comes after tensions escalated in Tennant Creek over the alleged sexual assault of a two-year-old girl.

The toddler was flown to the Alice Springs Hospital on February 16 before being rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, where she was placed in an induced coma because of the severity of her injuries.

A 24-year-old man has since been arrested and charged with sexual assault. He appeared to have been bashed when he appeared in court by video-link last week. He did not apply for bail.

The girl has been released from hospital into the care of her family and will return to the home where the alleged assault occurred, much to the horror of relatives.

Her parents are understood to have troubled pasts, and are known to be heavy consumers of alcohol.