Ms FLINT (Boothby—Government Whip) (19:55): I wish I did not have to keep coming back into this place to continue to record my experience as the ultimate case study in why so many women, especially Liberal women, conservative women, Centre Right women, choose to stay silent on their treatment in public or political life. Last week I gave two emotional speeches to parliament. The first called out the double standards and hypocrisy of the Labor Party and hard left-wing groups like the unions and GetUp, who claim to value and fight for women's safety, just not for women like me. The second recorded the vile, highly sexist abuse I received after my speech from the online trolls and haters and the fact that GetUp and journalists like Paul Bongiorno reduced my experiences to a political smear campaign rather than acknowledging the real fears for my safety I held during the last election campaign and the toll the ongoing abuse, particularly sexist attacks, have taken on me.
Perhaps I am showing my age by channelling an old TV advert, but I am sad to say, 'But wait: there's more.' Attacks on me were continued by Samantha Maiden on news.com.au and on ABC Insiders on Sunday. I want to introduce Ms Maiden to a concept—that of secondary victimisation, which occurs when a victim suffers further harm not as a direct result of the criminal act but due to the manner in which institutions and individuals deal with the victim. Ms Maiden needs to clarify if she is claiming that I was not stalked and that Georgina Downer was not stalked, because on Insiders she seemed to be. As she was not on the campaign trail with either me or Georgina, I ask her: how do you know? Georgina and I know the truth of what happened to us; she does not.
I note the man who she claims was terminally ill managed to follow me around my electorate from event to event and post multiple posts to social media on a daily basis either attacking me or liking attacks on me. This was obsessive behaviour. It was not directed at the other female candidates, just at me. He was a nasty little creep and he was dangerous. The police charged or issued him with what they described to me as a stalking order for my protection after I had asked him to stop and the AFP had asked him to stop. The Advertiser reported this as a stalking caution. I will be forever grateful to the SA Police because their actions made his behaviour stop.
Ms Maiden also said the following on Insiders: 'I think it was a very traumatic experience she had and I think it was unacceptable in terms of graffiti calling her a whore and all the rest of it, but the simple truth is—which does not make it okay—just because you are criticised as a female MP does not make it sexist.' Well, if being called a 'whore' is not sexist then I really don't know what is. The fact this has occurred on our public broadcaster, the ABC, says it all. After all, they have form when it comes to being associated with sexist attacks or comments about me.
ABC's Q&A has never apologised to me about when Mike Carlton live-tweeted:
Never have I admired Jimmy Barnes so much as tonight. How does he not leap from his seat and strangle the Liberal shill on his right?
Yet ABC's Insiders recently issued a correction and clarification to Mr Carlton for not getting a recollection of that particular tweet quite right. ABC's Peter Goers has never apologised for his attack on my appearance he penned in a column for The Sunday Mail, criticising my appearance and my smile. Then, on Sunday, Insiders ran the segment featuring Ms Maiden that I've just mentioned. So I ask the ABC: Is this balanced coverage? Is this fair comment?
I want to finish on issues ABC's Insiders and the rest of the ABC should actually be covering. Today, I heard two proud and strong Aboriginal women, Jacinta Price and Cheron Long, speak of their frustration that the mainstream media will not cover their stories and will not report their truth. So I say to the ABC: get out of the Canberra bubble, get out of the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs and get out to the regions to cover the stories of women like Cheron Long, who I never want to hear say the following words again: 'We have to live with an Aboriginal rape culture. Sexual abuse is accepted as normal in too many Aboriginal communities. When I have been interviewed by the media, I have been told not to use these words because they demonise Aboriginal men.
The media don't want to hear the truth. But white feminists are allowed to say whatever they want. Why is it that Aboriginal women and children suffer the most, but they won't let us have our own voice when it comes to violence and sexual abuse in this country? Why won't they let us tell our story?'