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‘Our voices are changing history’: Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame named 2021 Australian of the Year

Source: YouTube / news.com.au

‘Our voices are changing history’: Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame named 2021 Australian of the Year

The woman behind the #LetHerSpeak campaign delivered a powerful speech as she accepted the award. 

‘Our voices are changing history’: Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame named 2021 Australian of the Year

Warning: discussion of sexual abuse

26-year-old Tasmanian Grace Tame has been named the 2021 Australian of the Year.

Tame, a survivor of child sexual abuse, led the 2019 #LetHerSpeak campaign, fronting a landmark legal case to the Supreme Court of Tasmania. The case opposed the victim gag-law that prevented many sexual assault survivors in Tasmania from speaking out under their own names.

The landmark legal victory led the way for rewriting other victim gag laws across Australia, helping many other sexual assault survivors with their own legal battles.

Tame delivered a powerful speech as she accepted the 2021 Australian of the Year award on Monday night.

“All survivors of child sexual abuse, this is for us,” she said.

“Discussion of child sexual abuse is uncomfortable. But nothing is as uncomfortable as abuse itself.

“I lost my virginity to a paedophile. I was 15, anorexic. He was 58, my teacher. For months he groomed me, then abused me every day: Before school, after school, in my uniform, on the floor. I didn’t know who I was.

“Publicly, he described his crimes as ‘awesome’. Publicly, I was silenced by law. Let Her Speak helped give me a voice. Campaign creator – Nina Funnell, campaign partners, the 16 other brave campaign survivors: thank you.”

Tame went on to speak about the importance of education as a means of prevention for sexual abuse.

“Together, we can redefine what it means to be a survivor. Together, we can end child sexual abuse. Survivors, be proud. Our stories are changing history.”

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