Grace Tame has publicly backed Brittany Higgins, the Liberal Party staffer who was allegedly raped by a colleague inside Parliament House, and called on everyone to listen to her story.
Tame, who was recently named Australian of the Year for her advocacy for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, said she was humbled to be a source of inspiration for Higgins to finally speak up, but added that she doesn’t want to steal the spotlight from other alleged survivors.
“Speaking out takes incredible courage, and I hope justice is reached,” she wrote on Insta.
“This case is another reminder for us all of the need for survivor voices to raise awareness and improve our collective understanding of sexual abuse.
“We all have a seat at the table. We are all still learning.”
Higgins was allegedly raped in 2019, but it wasn’t until January this year that she felt compelled to make her story public.
She told News.com.au that seeing Tame standing beside Scott Morrison – who claims not to have known about the allegations despite two members of his staff being involved in the aftermath – made her feel “sick to my stomach”.
“He’s standing next to a woman who has campaigned for Let Her Speak and yet in my mind his government was complicit in silencing me,” Higgins told the website.
“It was a betrayal. It was a lie.”
Tame acknowledged this in her post, and said she stands in solidarity with everyone who chooses to come forward with a story of their own.
“To have been referenced as inspiration for Brittany is a positive reinforcement of the power of solidarity,” Tame said.
“I stand with survivors. I am an advocate for normalising the conversation and breaking the cycle of shame. As such, I’m here to empower people and encourage the platform to be shared.”
But she also made clear that this isn’t about her. Now’s not the time to speak over other alleged survivors.
“I don’t believe it’s appropriate for me to take the microphone when others are bravely coming forward,” Tame said.
“This is Brittany’s story. Let us listen.”
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.