A woman raped by her abusive partner after he lured her back to him with promises he would change has drawn courage from Australian of the Year Grace Tame as she confronted the man in court.
"Grace Tame has said, 'Evil thrives in silence' and silence is how the abuse and violence that I endured at the hands of [this man] has thrived'," the woman, who cannot legally be identified, said.
"I'll never forget what he has done to me. The shame and stigma belongs to him. This evil cannot be allowed to thrive in silence any longer."
As a Tasmanian school student Ms Tame was abused by her teacher and successfully campaigned for an archaic law that stopped her from identifying herself and speaking publicly about the crime to be scrapped. In recognition of her advocacy for survivors, Ms Tame was made Australian of the Year.
In the ACT Supreme Court last Thursday, another survivor of sexual assault turned to Ms Tame's words before she publicly detailed the impact of her rapist's crimes.
The woman, a person who does not relish public speaking, told the court she felt disgusted and terrified, not knowing when or how his abuse would end.
"The fear, anger, humiliation, and despair I feel is immeasurable," she said.
The woman, who spoke to the court via video link from a remote room, said she suffered depression and nightmares, headaches and anxiety, months on from the assault.
The pair had been together since 2018 and in February 2019 she reported the man for assault.
While he was in jail for that crime the man, who has not been named to protect the identity of the victim, promised he would never hurt her again and that she would be safe with him, and when he got out they got back together.
In March last year the woman decided to leave the relationship and fled to a hotel. But her partner persuaded her to come home with a barrage of pleading text messages and threats to kill himself.
Her return was met with violence.
He slapped her across the face. He grabbed the collar of her jacket and thumped her up and down on the bed, forcing his fist into her neck.
He digitally raped the woman and also elbowed her while in bed.
Later when they went to pick up her things from the hotel the shaking and crying woman was shielded by staff in a locked room while they helped her call police.
The man pleaded guilty to rape and breaching a family violence order on the second day of his trial last year after a court ruling that made the Crown case stronger.
He has a lengthy history of family violence offences and breaching family violence orders.
"This is not an aberration of character," Crown prosecutor Keegan Lee told the court, adding his history did not bode well for the man's prospects of rehabilitation.
Defence barrister Jason Moffett said the man had a background of drug and alcohol abuse but "all is not lost" and he had taken steps to rehabilitate himself.
Justice David Mossop said the case was a disturbing example of family violence and the assault designed to denigrate and humiliate the victim.
The judge jailed the man for 40 months and 12 days, setting a non-parole term of 28 months.
With time served he will be eligible for release in April 2023.
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