Uncovering the shameful: sexual violence on an Australian colonial frontier

Connors, Libby (2017) Uncovering the shameful: sexual violence on an Australian colonial frontier. In: Legacies of violence: rendering the unspeakable past in modern Australia. Bergahn Books, New York, United States, pp. 33-52. ISBN 978-1-78533-436-8

Abstract

While Australian historians have long acknowledged sexual assault by white frontiersman as a causal factor in Aboriginal reprisals, precise information has been limited. Historians have had to elaborate from local rumours and oral history to explain what would otherwise be construed as unprovoked aggression. This chapter explores the vulnerability of Aboriginal women in frontier districts characterised by isolation and lack of oversight of male workmen. It discusses incidents of interracial sexual assault in official reports on the Moreton Bay frontier in the 1840s and how these assaults and other examples of white aggression were either ignored or cloaked in the letters and memoirs of leading settlers of the district. The crafting of settler stories by female family members was not always a sufficient screen for the violence of dispossession and the responses of two women from a leading settler family are also considered as part of this history of hidden violence.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to chapter, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 01:23
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2018 01:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: frontier violence, sexual assault, Aboriginal Australians
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940403 Criminal Justice
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30487

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