Advertisement

Grace Tame says she is still being threatened by her childhood abuser

Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame says Tasmanian police were initially unhelpful when she complained that the man who sexually abused her as a teenager is actively targeting her again with “open threats and harassment”.

Ms Tame alleges she made her first complaint about the disturbing messages four months ago – only for police to ask her to find the source of the threats.

“Yesterday I made the second official report. I had raised concerns prior as well,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

“TasPol’s response to the first open threat from April was for me to source the IP address. If it weren’t for the fact that I work in the sector and advocate myself, I might have given up then.”

Ms Tame was a 15-year-old student at Hobart’s St Michael’s Collegiate School in 2010 when she was repeatedly abused by 58-year-old teacher Nicolaas Bester.

Bester was sentenced in 2011 to two years and 10 months in prison for his abuse and for possessing child exploitation material. He served one year and nine months.

Ms Tame wrote on Twitter on Monday night that she was “still dealing with open threats and harassment from the man who abused me” – posting screenshots from Bester’s Twitter feed.

“Here he is, the twice-convicted child sex offender, referring to my childhood email, which very few people know, in place of my name. It was the login to my old Facebook he and I communicated on,” she said.

“He’s counting down to an act of revenge, planned for the day of my book’s release.”

Ms Tame’s autobiography, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner, is due to be published late next month.

The screenshots posted by Ms Tame and apparently from Bester, he writes: “at last I shall come for [Ms Tame’s email address]”. 

In a post dated August 28, he writes “the good old come-uppance on its way”, again noting the email address.

Bester previously boasted of his crimes against Ms Tame in a 2015 Facebook post when he said “judging by the emails and tweets I have received, the majority of men in Australia envy me … it was awesome”.

Ms Tame on Monday wrote: “I have the power to be vulnerable. He will never have that”.

She said first informed police of Bester’s messages earlier this year, but said, “our reactive justice system is too slow and nothing’s changed”.

“He is too afraid, and too weak. He is too weak to be vulnerable. Instead, he exploits others who are. He knows no other way to be. I see that now. And because of that, he doesn’t scare me anymore,” she wrote.

Bester’s account has now been suspended by Twitter.

Prior to 2019, Ms Tame was prohibited from discussing or identifying herself as a sexual assault because of Tasmanian laws.

She took her fight to speak out to the Supreme Court and became the first Tasmanian woman to be granted a special exemption to self-identify as a rape survivor. The state’s law was changed the following year.

Ms Tame was named Australian of the Year in 2021 and remains an advocate for survivors of sexual assault.

Advertisement
Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.