Government doesn’t get it: Grace Tame

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame says drug abuse can be a coping mechanism for young sex-assault victims. <i> Photo: AAP</i>

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame says drug abuse can be a coping mechanism for young sex-assault victims. Photo: AAP Photo AAP

Australian of the Year and child sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame doesn’t believe the federal government’s rhetoric matches its actions on women’s safety.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has acknowledged pervasive violence against women means they are not safe at home or work including in federal parliament.

But Ms Tame says the government’s actions show it still doesn’t get it.

“(Mr Morrison is) stating the bleeding obvious,” she told ABC radio on Tuesday ahead of the second and final day of a national summit on women’s safety.

“As much as I want to be hopeful about this summit … unfortunately, in the background, actions are still proving that they don’t get it.”

In particular, the government is under fire for failing to pass all legislative reforms recommended by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins.

The commissioner expressed frustration over the “missed opportunity” to write into law an onus on employers to prevent sexual harassment.

Abuse survivor-turned-advocate Ms Tame labelled the lack of focus on children during the women’s safety summit a “gross oversight”.

The Australian of the Year, who has used her story to push for law reform, will speak as part of a panel about preventing and responding to sexual violence.

How technology is weaponised against women to demean and control them will be canvassed by eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

Police and the justice responses will be discussed by Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw, and Federal Circuit and Family Court Chief Judge William Alstergren.

Mr Morrison on Monday told the summit he felt the anger of survivors.

“In broad daylight, you are not safe. In public space, you are not safe. You are not safe here in this place, even this place where I speak to you from today, are not always safe,” he said.

The summit has been convened to help with the updating of the national plan to reduce violence against women and their children, which began under the Gillard government.


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