This morning, Australian of the Year and childhood sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame slammed the decision to appoint former Attorney-General Christian Porter as acting leader of the House of Representatives, despite the high profile rape allegations against him which he categorically denies.

Christian Porter will be filling in as leader of the House of Representatives while Peter Dutton undergoes a forced two weeks of quarantine after his sons attended a school subject to the Queensland COVID-19 outbreak.

Tame’s article, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald, tackles Morrison’s “chilling apathy” towards survivors with this decision, and labels the promotion of Porter a clear “abuse of power”.

“If the Prime Minister’s recent rhetoric about wanting to support assault survivors and protect women’s safety was indeed true, he would surely go to any lengths possible to ensure there was not an accused rapist amongst his own staff,” writes Tame.

“Clearly, it has been nothing but lip service. His actions speak volumes that drown out his every word.”

Tame then goes on to call Porter’s promotion at the hands of Morrison proof enough that within our patriarchal parliament,  “protective privilege” in the face of allegations is incredibly real.

“There is no way this decision was accidental. It is a transparently deliberate, definitive statement that reeks of abuse of power and a blatant disregard of the people,” writes Tame.

Tame also mentions that just last week, she attended a meeting with members of the Federal government that she assumed was “productive.” However, in seeing these actions made by the PM, it’s safe to say that not much has been effectively learnt.

“This appointment is an insult to all survivors, and indeed the whole country. It reinforces the idea that accused predators are too often protected, feeding into the already crippling fear of victims and bystanders. It is an act of emboldening perpetrators,” writes Tame.

“My heart breaks at the thought of survivors still living in silence, looking to our leaders for hope.”

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.

Image: Getty Images / Sam Mooy