Melbourne rape victim heckled at comedy show

Bernadette Chua
8:36am November 16, 2012

A rape survivor was heckled at an open-mic show while talking about why rape is not funny.

Genevieve Stewart, 20, who was raped when she was 15, was verbally attacked by her audience on Wednesday night at the Station 59 comedy venue in Richmond, Melbourne.

Ms Stuart was attacked at a country train station when she was a high school student but the audience accused her of censoring her material with one member of the audience yelling, “where’s the joke?”

“I went because I thought if I told my story then people would realise there is nothing funny about it,” Ms Stewart told Fairfax Media.

“It was quite intimidating.”

She said someone allegedly grabbed her shoulder as she was leaving and another called her a “faggot”.

She was invited by comedian Kieran Butler to take part in the discussion about comedy’s most controversial material after she starred in a Facebook campaign to shut down a comedy debate called “There’s Nothing Funny About Rape.”

According to Mr Butler, other comedians spoke about recovering from events in their own lives such as miscarriage, incest and rape.

But venue owner Michael Giacomi said he cancelled the original debate after he received abusive calls.

“When someone rang me up and started to threaten my kids with rape it got out of hand,” Mr Giacomi said.

Mr Butler said although Ms Stewart was heckled by the audience, he said there was good feedback from the night.

“Comedians need to fall and test out their material and this is a venue for that. It is a comedy night for comedians to try out their material and see whether it will work. This is the first time in 18 months that we have had any issues.”

Sources: Fairfax. Author: Bernadette Chua, Approving Editor: Emily O'Keefe

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