• MP Lydia Thorpe has received death threats for saying the flag should be at half-mast on January 26. (AAP)Source: AAP
"Women should not be threatened by this behaviour. We have to stand together in solidarity as women, and as women of colour, to call this out."
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
24 Jan 2018 - 9:31 AM  UPDATED 24 Jan 2018 - 9:54 AM

Victoria Police are continuing to investigate a series of emails sent to Victorian Greens MP Lidia Thorpe, which she described as very graphic, threatening gang rape.

She said there have been no more threats, but her staff have been subject to a series of abusive calls from members of the community.

"I think it’s a very small minority of people that stoop to that level, I suppose, to sexual violence against women," Ms Thorpe said.

"Is it because I'm a woman and a black woman?"

The proud Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman remains adamant that she will not be deterred, and urges other women to step forward and put an end to threats of sexual violence against women.

"I think that they’re sick and I just hope that they have some kind of an inkling in their mind how that affects not just me, but other women. Those kinds of threats will not stop me from speaking out," Ms Thorpe said.

"Nothing will stop me from speaking out about injustices that continue to happen to my people.

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"Women should not be threatened by this behaviour. We have to stand together in solidarity as women, and as women of colour, to call this out.

"It has to stop and it has got to be taken seriously. Other people in positions of power need to call it out as well."

Ms Thorpe, who said she herself had been marching since she was five-years-old, hopes that attendees of Friday's Melbourne Rally will maintain a peaceful protest. 

"If the white supremacists want to attend our rally, we hope they come in respect and a peaceful manner," she said.

"If they don’t, then I believe that the Victoria Police will be of assistance, and I have faith in the Victoria Police to remove anybody who threatens a peaceful protest.

"We will have children and family at this protest and we need to maintain safety."

In response to the growing noise around changing the date of 'Australia Day', Victoria Police said they will be present across all events on January 26.

“Victoria Police is aware of a number of planned events across the state on Australia Day,” Victoria Police said.

“Extensive planning has been undertaken with all relevant stakeholders including local councils.”

Victoria Police said that public safety is their number one priority, and that they would maintain an ‘appropriate presence’ at all planned events around the state.

“As always, police will not tolerate any antisocial or criminal behaviour from any sector of the community,” Victoria Police said.

“No matter where you are on Australia Day, you are likely to notice the highly-visible police presence on our streets, roads and popular community destinations.  

They added that they were looking forward to the long weekend being a ‘safe and relaxing period for all’.

“We’re encouraging all Victorians and visitors to get out and enjoy all of the festivities on offer.” 

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