Grace Tame shares 'really disturbing' message from her abuser

·5-min read

Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame says the man convicted of abusing her as a child has continued to harass her on social media, as she shared screenshots of his posts leading to the suspension of his Twitter account.

When she was just 15 years old, Ms Tame was repeatedly abused by Nicolaas Bester, her 58-year-old teacher at Hobart's St Michael's Collegiate School.

He was convicted and sentenced to prison for the abuse and possession of child exploitation material. Ms Tame went on to be Australian of the Year for her advocacy.

On Monday night, Ms Tame said on Twitter Bester has been repeatedly threatening her on social media, referring to her by her childhood email address in his alleged posts.

Pictured is Grace Tame speaking at the National Press Club on March 03, 2021 in Canberra, Australia.
Grace Tame has shared social media messages showing alleged harassment form her convicted abuser. Source: Getty Images

Tweets reference Grace Tame's childhood email

She shared screenshots of tweets from the Nico Bester account that has now been suspended. The most recent post being made on August 28.

"Here it comes! Only 4 weeks to go!! The good old come-uppance [sic] on its way.....[Ms Tame's childhood email address]," he said just days ago.

The email address referenced is Ms Tame's childhood email, which she said very few people knew of. She said it was the login for her old Facebook account, which she and Bester communicated with.

She said he was counting down "to an act of revenge" which is planned for the day of her book's release on September 27, a memoir titled, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner.

A tweet appearing to be from Nicolaas Bester, who was convicted of abusing Grace Tame. Source: Twitter
Nicolaas Bester, who was convicted of abusing Grace Tame, allegedly started a countdown on Twitter, referencing her by her childhood email. Source: Twitter

Bester made reference to Ms Tame's old email address in another tweet, saying Twitter had been "liberated" by Elon Musk

"At last I shall come for [Ms Tame's childhood email address] good time....." he wrote.

"Bring back Donald Trump! Bring back Tommy Robinson! I want to see Milo Yiannopoulos! Nico Bester is coming too.... oh yes, he is," he said in another tweet.

"Only 10 weeks to go..... [Ms Tame's childhood email address].... and he is coming to show all too [sic] you."

The former president was banned from Twitter for inciting violence, Robinson was banned for "hateful conduct" and Yiannopoulos was banned for harassment and abuse. Bester's account has now been suspended.

Nico Bester's account has since been suspended by Twitter. Source: Twitter
Nico Bester's account has since been suspended by Twitter. Source: Twitter

Harassment reported to police

Ms Tame said Bester's tweets were "harassment of a known victim of his past crimes" and said they were designed to further harm her.

"These threats clearly constitute a federal offence and contravene Twitter’s child exploitation policy, which states that it is prohibited to contribute to the re-victimisation and re-traumatisation of a child sexual abuse survivor," Ms Tame said.

She said she had reported the tweets to the police, but remarked how the justice system was "too slow" and that nothing had changed.

The former Australian of the Year said Twitter may not be the "ideal platform" to address the harassment, but said she was reclaiming her power against "a predator operating in plain sight".

"This man seems to think he is still relevant, and can maintain control over me," she said.

"This man who groomed and abused me when I was a child. He has known me since I was 14."

Grace Tame not ashamed or scared anymore

Ms Tame said Bester had groomed her to believe she was infatuated with him, which she said is the "insidious spell".

"I’ve written about our sordid conversations, in which I fawned over him and we arranged to meet. It’s taken years of growth, and studying to understand," she said on Twitter.

"The processing is ongoing. I’m not ashamed of any of it now. But he should be. He was an adult who abused his authority."

Ms Tame said she is a survivor who has the power to be vulnerable, something Bester will "never have".

Pictured is the 2021 Australian of the Year and activist Grace Tame
The countdown seemingly aligned with the release date of Grace Tame's book. Source: AAP

She said her abuser was afraid and weak, who exploits those who are vulnerable as he "knows no other way to be".

"I see that now. And because of that, he doesn’t scare me anymore," she said.

"He is a sad, old menacing coward. This is not for the critics. They will say what they always say. This is for the people like me. And you know who you are too. I stand with you. We have the power."

Minister slams 'disturbing' abuse

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth spoke with ABC's RN Breakfast on Tuesday morning and while she said she would leave the matter to the police, she remarked on the disturbing nature of the threats.

"I find the levels of harassment, stalking, abuse against women and children really disturbing in this country," she said.

Ms Rishworth said she was focused on getting a national plan in place to work toward ending abuse.

"But it is a challenge that we've got to deal with," she said.

"I find the rates, of whether it's psychological control, coercive control, whether it is physical violence, we have a problem in this country that doesn't need to be dealt with."

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