A sickening and threatening email sent to a Queensland politician that referred to her children dying in a car accident has been referred to the Australian Federal Police.
Labor MP Terri Butler shared the horrific correspondence in an Instagram post, revealing the sender went to the trouble of tracking down her husband’s work email address.
“I don’t usually share things like this because the trolls see it as a victory when they get your attention,” she wrote on social media.
“But in the context of the last few weeks I thought it useful to say something about it. Specifically, our country has a long way to go before women can participate in society fully.”
Ms Butler, who has been the member for Griffith since 2014 and serves as the Labor’s Environment and Water spokesperson, said it’s an insight into what she’s forced to endure.
The disgraceful email attacked Ms Butler’s appearance and intelligence and then encouraged her husband to kill their family in a car accident.
Ms Butler has two children with Troy Spence, a former Australian Workers’ Union organiser.
“Someone went to the trouble to look up his name and his professional email address,” Ms Butler wrote.
“Our country has a long way to go before women can participate in society fully.”
The horrific email encouraged the Butler family to be in a car accident.
Ms Butler said she was sharing the post in light of the March 4 Justice rallies that were held across Australia last week calling for an end to gendered violence.
Despite the horrific email, Ms Butler said her other female colleagues often “cop much worse than this”.
“Women in public life are subject to personal abuse, and many of my colleagues cop much worse than this,” she wrote.
“Just read the recent statement in the House by Anne Aly who has a regular anonymous correspondent who addresses her as ‘ISIS wh*re’.
“There are plenty of people who want to make it harder for women to participate fully in every part of our society.
“We need more women in male dominated occupations, more women in public life, more women in politics.”
Ms Butler said she felt a “sense of duty” to try and fight the abuse.
“Some people ask why women would want to be in politics given treatment like this,” she wrote.
“My answer is that I don’t think it’s about women wanting to enter politics so much as seeing the problems and feeling a sense of duty to contribute to dealing with them.
“Obviously there are preconditions, impediments, and caveats, but some feel that if you can be in the fight, you should be in it.”