CONTENT WARNING: This article deals with domestic violence.
Australian of the Year Tamed grace used it Q + A appearance to speak publicly for the first time about being in a number of physically abusive relationships as adults, while calling for more stringent violence prevention measures.
Tame has been a strong advocate for survivors of sexual abuse after going public about how she was treated and raped by her teenage high school math teacher, overturning laws that gagged survivors in the process. But she rarely spoke of the domestic violence she suffered as an adult.
“I don’t talk about it often – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever said it publicly – but besides being a survivor of pedophilia […] because I had no frame of reference, after that I entered an abusive relationship after an abusive relationship, ”she said.
“I mean I was living with a man who used to punch holes in walls, spit in my eyes, hit me on the head, strangle me, push me to the floor, and I can honestly say that the answers, the intervention and the punishment don’t really stop the problem in a lot of cases.
“We really need to put the money in and focus our attention on preventing these things in the first place.”
– QandA (@QandA) September 2, 2021
Tame spoke about these experiences in response to a question from a homicide victim advocate. Eileen Culleton, whose sister Anne Marie was raped and murdered by Jonathan bakewell in 1988.
Although Bakewell was sentenced to life in prison, he was granted parole in 2004, which he has since raped four times. Culleton is now calling for murder with sexual assault to become a stand-alone crime punishable by mandatory life imprisonment without parole.
Tame said she herself supports tougher sentences, but also wants more focus on preventing this culture of rape and violence against women.
“It’s part of the solution, tougher penalties, but I come back to the issue of prevention,” she said.
“We really need to have these conversations as early as possible with our children who are our future about respectful behavior, about consent, etc., and so on.”
You can watch the entire Q + A episode here.
Help is available.
If you need immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you would like to talk to someone about domestic violence, please call 1800 Hotline Respect at 1 800 737 732 or chatting on the internet.
Less than 25? You can join Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chatting on the internet.
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