Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Loud Fence – Ballarat

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (13:17): The Loud Fence group in Ballarat have been operating for just five years and have already taken the world by storm. In major cities and areas affected by the church’s disgraceful sexual violence colourful ribbons are being tied in protest of the church’s mishandling of the crisis and in sympathy for survivors. It is quite honestly a surreal feeling standing in front of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Ballarat staring at the complete rainbow of ribbons, knowing that the hands that have tied those ribbons to the fence have in some way been affected by sexual violence. Having sat down with its founder, Maureen Hatcher, and sexual abuse survivors a few weeks ago, I know that Loud Fence is having a hugely positive impact on both the mental health of survivors and promoting positive legislative changes. To say redress has been overpromised and underdelivered by the federal government would be an understatement. This is why groups such as Loud Fence are so important, so that abuse survivors have understanding people they can talk to about the progress they have made or the bad times they continue to experience. For the Catholic Church to argue that removing ribbons has been done in consultation with community, stakeholders and abuse survivors is, with respect, complete and utter rubbish. I will keep fighting alongside Loud Fence and all child sexual abuse survivors to ensure that these ribbons stay up. I am so humbled to have met this small portion of this large community of strong, determined, brave Ballarat survivors, and I commend Maureen and Loud Fence for the amazing work they are doing in achieving positive outcomes for those who suffered at the hands of the church.


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