CULTURAL WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following post contains the names and stories of proud Aboriginal women now resting in the Dreaming.
Veronica M Nelson: Inquest (vals.org.au) This is a really important case to firstly, ensure justice for Veronica and secondly, for many in the community.
We at Harm Reduction Victoria are watching the inquest carefully to understand whether her health status impacted on how she was treated and why it appears basic duties of care were not followed in our Victorian system. This affects too many of us in similar situations.
Aunty Donna Nelson, Mother of Veronica Nelson said:
“This inquest is first and foremost about Veronica, and how a broken criminal justice system locked my daughter up and let her die while she begged for help, over and over.”
As Percy Lovett, Veronica’s partner said:
“Veronica was a strong woman – stronger than me. She’d always help someone on the street. She taught me everything about our ways. It’s got me beat how she knew what she knew. She knew everything.”
“I don’t want it to happen again. I want to make it easier for the next women who get locked up. I want them to be looked after more. I want them to get more support and treatment in the community.”
Moricia Vrymoet from The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) said,
“It gives us some hope that the Inquest will examine the systemic issues surrounding bail laws and health care in Victorian prisons. We need the Victorian Government to pay attention and learn from their mistakes.”
We are also sick of the harmful bail laws and outdated criminal codes being used against the community –particularly Aboriginal people.
To everyone fighting on behalf of Veronica and our communities, thank you.
Harm Reduction Victoria
(photo of artwork by Nish Cash)