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2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame has potential to change community attitudes about violence against women

January 25, 2021 / Our Watch media team

In this article

Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly has congratulated Grace Tame on becoming Australian of the Year.  Grace Tame was the first Tasmanian to receive a court order that allowed her to publicly identify herself as a sexual abuse survivor, after being assisted by the #LetHerSpeak campaign that overturned a ‘gag law’ in that state.

Ms Kinnersly said Grace’s story was incredibly powerful, and her work vitally important in achieving the historic change to the law. 

“When survivors are able to tell their own stories, on their own terms, it can have a massive impact on changing community attitudes, values and beliefs about violence against women,” Ms Kinnersly said. 

“We know from the evidence that one of the drivers of violence against women is the condoning of it, which includes attitudes about what a woman is wearing, or excusing or downplaying men’s actions.  

“When survivors tell their stories, these false beliefs can be challenged, helping the community build new and better social norms that make it clear that violence against women is always wrong. 

 “It’s vital that sexual assault survivor voices are heard, and that women’s voices are central to commentary on this issue.   

It may also encourage other survivors to come forward to tell their story if they wish to, which will be important to reduce the stigma and shame they can feel. 

“This ultimately will contribute to the changing of community attitudes and misconceptions for the better, which is key in preventing violence against women. 

 

Media contact

Shannon McKeogh, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 or shannon.mckeogh@ourwatch.org.au 

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline: 

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000” 

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit: www.ourwatch.org.au 

About Our Watch

Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms and structures that lead to violence against women.

Find out more about our work to end violence against women in Australia.

The evidence
Woman holding baby.