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Open letter to Scott Morrison and Christian Porter

By Tracie Aylmer

The first time it happened I was 16-years-old, in 1988 in Sydney. Thinking back, I was groomed by the perpetrator to accept him touching me, with intent to kiss me. If I had known he was going to touch me without the grooming he did to me, I wouldn’t have accepted for him to have touched me in the first place.

I was very vulnerable and had a really hard time at both school and home. I guess he saw me as an open target.

After the event I felt so ashamed. As he had called my place asking when I was going to return to his shop, I told my sister what he had done. I remember her telling him I was never going to go back, and to never call my place again.

There are so many more times. So many sexual assaults. Quite a few lost me my job. All of them had me in tears. I lost confidence. Each time, I had to start my life over again. I crumbled, not knowing how to restart my life (yet again).

I have studied, finding law easy. It didn’t get me a long-term job as by then I was considered too old.

The scars have held me back. I know that now.

I’m studying again – two full-time TAFE qualifications at the same time. I thought that time had healed the pain I’ve gone through in my life. I thought I was strong enough to turn the corner and strive for the incredible person that I am.

The past few weeks have brought it all crashing down on me again. The pain is front and centre again.

Mr Morrison, the fact that, without evidence, you believe Mr Porter is horrifying and disgusting. You believe your boys club without any question yet refuse to believe the mountains of evidence and proof of pain of the victims. You are the problem with this society, as you are not taking these rapes seriously.

You are not showing yourself to have any standard whatsoever. You blatantly lie, and we can all see it. You triggered me beyond anything these past few days, and I hold you in complete and utter contempt for doing so.

I do not need for you to behave without accountability over something as serious as rape and sexual assault. You did wrong, and I hope you lose your job emphatically over this fiasco.

Mr Porter, do you really think the country believes you? A recent investigation revealed your “history of sexism and inappropriate behaviour.” Do you think now that your boys club will now protect you?

Poor you thinks that mental health care is needed (let’s get the violins out). I really don’t care if you’re having mental health care sessions. Women who have been the victims of sexual assault or abuse face or have had a life-time of mental health care sessions. Do you or your government care about them?

You have triggered the whole country over your alleged behaviour and your response to it.

Resign! You are worthless now. You have destroyed the office of the Attorney General by your alleged behaviour. No one will believe or trust the legal system again. And neither will they believe or trust the Morrison government or its Ministers. Congratulations on the part you played in that.

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22 comments

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  1. Michael Taylor

    This is just so bloody endemic. 😢

  2. Melissa Baker

    Bravo!

    Thank you for speaking your truth.

    So many feel exactly the same way at the moment – hurting and disgusted by our ‘Leaders’ acting in this way – protecting each other, feelings of so many totally disregarded.

    These are very sad days indeed, and I hope the actions of our ‘Leaders” finally strike a mortal blow to all of those lying, obfuscating and protecting each other!

  3. Florence Howarth

    This is a question I will understand if you don’t want to answer. If you had to or decided to at this late date, take legal action, how do you think you would cope?

    I know from my own experience from years DV which came to an end when I found out my eldest daughter at 15 had endured years of sexual abuse, including being pregnant at 13 from my husband. A man who accepted & treated her as his own from the time she was a little over a year old.

    Recalling what occurred over the years was held. Every memory had been deeply depressed. Later I told a psychiatrist I managed to live my life by putting things in boxes that never connected. There was a workbox. The family. Social life. None ever met the other.

    The one thing I am sure of, the memories after much difficulty I recalled are all fact. Which they were not. I am amazed at my daughter that she has done so well. I think she was only able to let go of the memories when her step-father eventually died. It is something I am unable to discuss with her. She still believes her father when he told her I wouldn’t believe or would stick with him. That is the bar neither of us has been able to jump over.

    My problem was the belief he was bad, but never as evil as he turned out to be.

  4. pierre wilkinson

    Thank you for sharing
    Sorry for your suffering
    Hopes that things will finally start to change
    but for the smirking jerk and the sanctimonious sexist to both disclaim all written allegations against Porter when by their own admission they never actually read them beggars belief!
    Too many women die, too many women are molested and /or raped or are victims of violence
    so too, many children and men suffer,
    but for far too long we have ignored the plight of women in our “boys will be boys” mentality
    hopefully this year will mark a perception change
    we need more stories like yours, sad as they are, to help effect this change

  5. Tracie

    @Melissa, thank you so much for your really kind words. They mean so much

    @Florence, I tried to take legal action against the last guy who sexually assaulted me, and it’s ended up going nowhere. I won’t bother with all the rest. Please understand that the guy will lie through his teeth to get what he wants (which is to keep abusing). I’m sure that, if you had known, you would have done something about your daughter’s situation. You were trying to survive, yourself.

    @Pierre, thank you so much for your kind words. The optometrist was the first of too many to count. I decided to tell that one, rather than the very old guy who said ‘I can’t do much, but I can lick you out if you want’, or the guy who glided his hand down to my backside, or the deputy manager (whose wife also worked in the same place) who took me out in his car while I was crying and tried to kiss me (I didn’t receive as many shifts at that job after that)…. So many stories… So I stuck with the first instead

  6. Lawrence Winder

    Their hubris has overtaken them… the gods will be appeased.

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    The one sure way to get redress is to work to get rid of these creeps. Sanctimonious bloody creeps.

    My sympathies and thoughts are always with the victims of these dastardly deeds.

  8. Florence Howarth

    We did take police action. Should have continued, but as you said, I was just plain tired. The police were supposed to arrest him as soon as the divorce was granted. Didn’t happen. Contacted them, was told we thought it was just for the Family Court. The one thing I did not need as evidence for the FC. In fact, it was himself that put the sexual matter before the court. I didn’t know, but I also said to myself I would leave if it hurt the kids. Not doing so, I am guilty of. Yes, I do feel guilty for my daughter, which is stupid, I didn’t know. Also, when it is hard when you have three other kids to put their father in prison.

    I have only made these remarks for one reason only, do not blame or judge victims because you believe they sound confused or should have reacted in a different way. I heard Ana, I leading Labor MP say the other day, while sitting with 15 years old school friends, she would walk out the door if a husband hit her. She didn’t not the first or many other times. Yes, after much damage was done, divorced.

    What needs to be redressed is not more stupid reviews, as is being done now but a completely new rework of how law and order work with these complaints. It is broken now, always has been.

  9. Kaye Lee

    There are things we can do.

    Grace Tame is right about education – not just at schools but for everyone. That takes time to make a difference. Changing language is a part of it. Changing processes. But mainly changing attitudes.

    In the mean time, we need crisis housing. We need early intervention support. We need rehab centres. We need advocates to help at risk people seek the help and support they need before a crisis occurs. We need culturally aware assistance aimed at diverse communities. We need a livable unemployment payment.

    It was largely religious people and homophobes who objected to schools talking about Respectful Relationships. They seemed to think asking kids to consider others as people, to empathise, to respect their rights as individuals, would immediately make girls bind their breasts and boys wear frilly dresses.

    Religion has a large part to play in this male domination attitude in society – both historically and in the present day. If they want a place in the future – they really need to change. Mind you, it would take a whole rewrite of the bible.

  10. Michael Taylor

    What we could do with education! It would go a long way to stamping out sexism and racism.

    There’ll always be sexists and racists. Just less of them.

  11. JudithW

    Education. What is appropriate in a loving relationship? What does gaslighting look like? What is controlling/loving behaviour? How does one say no?
    Sometimes perpetrators need to know the answers to these questions too…

  12. Andrew J. Smith

    Terrible, but at least some education through this AIM media outlet not tainted by other media, boys’ network acting as a protection racket.

    Reading elsewhere how many senior male journalists are friends with Porter e.g. Peter van O., reflecting the clubbiness of Canberra and/or Oz politics, with the requisite respect and support given to those in power.

    PVO wrote a piece in The Australian (widely criticised on Twitter) ‘Christian Porter and a chilling, disgraceful denial of basic rights’, supporting Porter, was he commissioned to write the article?

    This is part of the mutual feedback system in Canberra between MPs, public servants, personnel, lobbyists and media, led by NewsCorp and SkyNews providing feedback 24/7; backgrounded by white Christian nationalist sentiments, especially including patriarchy and misogyny, about a generation behind the electorate…… at least the below median age vote demographic and many women.

    Victims of sexual assault, especially those who speak out, are clearly viewed as a threat in Australia to the nativist conservative status quo and power which many feel obliged to support; ‘followership’ and serving authority and/or ideology is preferred over contemporary ‘leadership’ for all, including women (if you do you may get somewhere by keeping ‘mum’).

    The Oz article is not pay walled and is here https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/christian-porter-and-a-chilling-disgraceful-denial-of-basic-rights/news-story/9d282cd2975c0c757cd0c29479779374

  13. DrakeN

    Actually, Michael, I believe that is ‘education’, of entirely a wrong kind, which contributes to much of the sexism and racism everywhere.
    Especially in the sexually segregated private schools, the demonisation of all things related to sexual pleasure in religious schools, and the petty attitudes by the general public, particularly older generations, towards anything which they consider to be “not proper.”
    We live in a very warped society.

  14. Coralie Naumann

    Definitely was paywalled. Thought it was too good to be true. The Australian is always paywalled from top to bottom, with about 25 different ways to subscribe.
    Thanks to everyone who shared their story. Heartbreaking, traumatic and very brave to speak out.

  15. Canguro

    #DrakeN, today’s Guardian article, Men are like dogs a poignant example of what you speak.

  16. wam

    if teachers, public servants and elected officials were all tested for racism, sexism and grade 9 NAPLAN before taking up the job the majority would not be engaged without undergoing a ‘re-educating’ program. Over the years I have met many elected officials, serving and retired police and armed services and not had agreement on any achievement of whitlam.
    Many had cards that gave health benefits but resented the unemployed health card. The police had access to a powerful union but resented trade unions. They no longer have a union so there association maintains the union privileges of overtime, penalty rates. Things are conservatively crook in tallarook

  17. John Lockyer

    Sexual abuse is wrong and equally so is bearing false witness and rushing to judgement (crucifying the innocent). It would appear that many do-gooders may have honourable intentions but in the process of seeking justice they are more than willing to sacrifice the most basic human rights for example the presumption of innocence. Be careful for what you wish. Think twice before you rush to judgement. Sadly one day in the future you may be denied the same – you may also lose your basic rights as well.

  18. andy56

    John Lockyer, you missed the point. If 90% of rapes or sexual assaults are not reported, what does that say about your assumptions?
    “The presumption of innocence is a basic human right ” Thats an absolute assertion.
    “Do gooders have honourable intentions ” Isnt that a condescending assertion?
    ” more than willing to sacrifice … ”

    Lets unpack it for you. Why is it that 90% of sexual assaults go unreported? The presumtion of innocence becomes a weapon against women. In a ” he said, she said”, The man is presumed innocent and the woman is thus presumed a liar.

    “Do gooders….”, Matin Luther King once stated that where there is discrimination, sometimes you have to reverse the discrimination to get the ledger to balance. Your labeling everyone who wants to ” fix” issues as a do gooder who will lead us all to hell. In otherwords, according to you, we shouldnt even try.

    More than willing to sacrifice? No, we are prepared to accept the woman may be right in this case, we are doing our own form of reverse discrimination, and you dont like it. We are acknowledging that the law is an ass. Absolute with no exception is what is being stated here, with no other coarse being allowed. If you want to perpetuate the rule that the law is only about property rights, I say to you justice will find a way outside the law.

  19. David Evans

    FFS! Joke’s over. Time to go morrison. What do you think jen?

  20. Miles F Pharaweigh

    I’m saddened by John Lockyer’s assertions about “do-gooders”. A precious word to the conservatives who want nothing to change. A tool to reach for when a chum is in trouble. A trustworthy place to take a conversation when one is threatened with being shown to be wrong.

    Cleverly, John didn’t attach a name to the “innocent”. Well done that fellow.

    I answer the phone to people who have experienced exactly John’s point, but as conservatives they have been shocked it has been visited upon them. They have spent their well-heeled lives being one step or two up the societal ladder, right schools, right chums, right jobs, right little woman, not unlike the current alleged perpetrator, only to find somewhere years ago their sense of entitlement ran over the traces. Now it’s back to bite them. Shocking.

    If an ordinary man were accused of historical sexual abuse of a child, which this is, and at the time would have been, though now the age difference would be part of the trial, police would proceed with a prosecution, irrespective it was 40 or 50 years ago. And these days, the man would be jailed to feed the public’s need for revenge. In truth the police are usually unable to prove the allegation, so in the absence of evidence they use “patterns of behaviour” and “balance of probabilities”. If the man is lucky he will be before a judge alone since the jury would be expected to convict.

    This isn’t all about the law supposedly broken. Or the trust. It’s about how much one has to do to be sacked by that useless twat with the smirk and the dirty pants at MacDonald’s.

  21. corvusboreus

    John Lockyer,
    Regarding the presumption of innocence;
    what responsibilty do you think Christian Porter bears as the minister who initiated the travesty of robodebt?
    That scam generated false debt through a blatantly incorrect algorithm then demanded money without legally proving that any debt existed (not my opinion but supreme court finding)
    This enforced prosecution of debt based on presumption of guilt without proof caused many people to lose their homes and relationships, and drove some to suicide.
    Do you think the minister who, despite strenuous objections, signed off on a scheme that not only broke the law and caused nationwide suffering and death, but also ended up costing the commonwealth a fortune, should remain as the country’s chief legal officer?

    Ps I would also be curious to hear why you regard ‘conducting actions of general benefit’, aka “doing good” as a pejorative term.

  22. leefe

    The problem with “presumption of innocence” where the issue is one of consent and/or conflicting testimony, is that if you grant it to the accused, you are denying it to the complainant; after all, if one person is telling the truth, the other must be lying …

    And this is exactly what is happening with Porter. All these presstitutes rushing to support him, by effectively accusing someone who cannot defend herself. And they do not see the hypocrisy.

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