498: Grace Tame isn't who the news tells you she is

How would you feel if your identity, who you felt as a person - was denied time and again. What if it was at a national level?

That’s what my guest today goes through on a daily basis - because there’s a narrative about her that isn’t really about her.

Luckily she’s a fierce person who will fight to be seen and heard for who she is.

However the way this happens to her tells us a lot about how we as a community in Australia see women, see survivors of child sexual abuse, and how little we hold our media to account.

Grace Tame is an Australian of the Year, author, and a voice that's shaking the foundations of our society.

She gained prominence for her advocacy and determination to overturn Tasmanian laws that prevented survivors from speaking out about their experiences through the Let Her Speak campaign.

Until April 6 2020 it was illegal for victims to identify themselves as the victim of such a crime. If they did speak about what happened two them, they could face six months in prison.

The law was probably brought in to protect people from being identified - however if those survivors chose to share their stories, it would be illegal to do so.

The forced anonymity that brings only reinforces the stigma and shame in our community around victims of such crimes.

Meanwhile these laws protected the people who committed these crimes.

The same laws that used the word “relationship” in relation to these crimes - the crime was to “Maintain a sexual relationship with a person under 17.”

You can clearly hear how that particular word changes how you think about what happened between the victim and the perpetrator.

In a world where conversations about consent and survivor support are more crucial than ever, Grace has been a driving force in raising awareness and demanding change.

Her courage and determination have paved the way for important discussions that challenge the status quo.

A status quo that does not like to be challenged.

The rancid stacks-on that she’s had to deal with as an adult is utterly shameful. The things she has had to endure for speaking out about her abuse is just too awful to behold.

And the things that happen to her have all been perpetrated by men. Entitled adult men.

Grace Tame is a powerful, brilliant person and I’m so glad you’re going to get a chance to engage with her today.

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