Grace’s heartfelt post about Brittany
Australian of the Year Grace Tame has urged Australians to "listen" to Brittany Higgins' harrowing account of an alleged rape at Parliament House and praised the Liberal staffer's courage.
In an "act of solidarity" with Ms Higgins, the activist and advocate for survivors of sexual assault said she hoped that the 26-year-old would find justice.
"My thoughts are with Brittany Higgins. Speaking out takes incredible courage, and I hope justice is reached," said Ms Tame in a Facebook and Instagram post.
"This case is another reminder for us all of the need for survivor voices to raise awareness and improve our collective understanding of sexual abuse.
"We all have a seat at the table. We are all still learning."
On Monday, Ms Higgins told news.com.au that one of her motivations for speaking out about the alleged attack in 2019 was her "anger" at seeing Prime Minister Scott Morrison stand on a podium with Ms Tame as she was announced as Australian of the Year.
"I was sick to my stomach,'' she said.
"He's standing next to a woman who has campaigned for 'Let Her Speak' and yet in my mind his government was complicit in silencing me. It was a betrayal. It was a lie."
Ms Tame, a sexual assault survivor who rose to prominence via News Corp's #LetHerSpeak campaign, said she was honoured to have been an inspiration for Ms Higgins.
"To have been referenced as inspiration for Brittany is a positive reinforcement of the power of solidarity,'' Ms Tame said.
"I stand with survivors. I am an advocate for normalising the conversation and breaking the cycle of shame.
"As such, I'm here to empower people and encourage the platform to be shared. I don't believe it's appropriate for me to take the microphone when others are bravely coming forward.
"This is Brittany's story. Let us listen."
News.com.au understands that former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also contacted Ms Higgins and had a "long conversation" with her about what he can do to support her.
Mr Turnbull's wife Lucy has been outspoken in her support for Ms Higgins from the day the story broke.
"Brittany Higgins you are a very strong and articulate young woman and you deserve to have a great future ahead of you. Brittany, thousands of people applaud you for speaking out. Could not have been easy,'' she wrote on Twitter.
Brittany Higgins you are a very strong and articulate young woman and you deserve to have a great future ahead of you. Brittany, thousands of people applaud you for speaking out. Could not have been easy. 🙏🙏🙏 And well done, @Lisa_Wilkinson @theprojecttv @samanthamaiden— Lucy Turnbull AO (@LucyTurnbull_AO) February 15, 2021
It follows Defence Minister Linda Reynolds' "unreserved" apology for any distress Ms Higgins had felt for how the matter was handled.
However, Senator Reynolds declined to say if she had provided a reference to the former Liberal staffer who was terminated after the incident for coming into the office after hours with Ms Higgins.
Ms Higgins claims she felt forced to choose between reporting the alleged assault to the police or keeping her job.
Originally published as Grace's heartfelt post about Brittany