An Australian politician has been told to kill herself and been accused of causing her own son’s autism in vile online comments from anti-vaxxers.
Liberal senator Hollie Hughes received more than 1,000 letters protesting vaccinations in a ‘concerted campaign to counter spotlight on immunisation’s incredible lifesaving benefits’.
Ms Hughes, who has an autistic son, responded to ‘misinformed and misleading anti-vaccination activists’ in a Facebook video posted on April 30.
But since then, Ms Hughes has received hundreds of horrible messages and comments from anti-vaxxer trolls online.
‘Keep believing your child’s autism is not because of you – I’m sure it helps you sleep tonight,’ one person wrote, ridiculously implying Mr Hughes caused autism in her son by getting him vaccinated.
Ms Hughes’ inundation of mail comes after anti-vaxxer couple Anthony and Kate Golle started a campaign to bombard pro-vaccination politics with letters.
Liberal NSW Senator Hollie Hughes responds to anti-vaxxer letters in a Facebook video posted on April 30. Since then, Ms Hughes has been inundated with vile messages and comments
A variety of comments and messages directed at Senator Hughes, that accuse her of causing her son’s autism, urge her to take her own life and call her a satantist
‘You caused the autism your child has (from vaccines) and now you feel very guilty about it, so you are going to lash out at anti-vaxxers?’ another person wrote.
Numerous comments urged Ms Hughes to take her own life while one even labelled her as an ‘evil Satanist’ for supporting immunisation.
Vaccinations have been proven to be a safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them.
Ms Hughes ‘called out these offensive and ill informed people’ in a written Facebook post on Sunday.
‘The abuse is continuing today. I expect it to as long as I call out the recklessness of their claims and the risk they pose to the vast majority of society who have been vaccinated. (It’s our herd immunity that protects them!),’ Ms Hughes wrote.
‘Comments are no longer hidden. Free entertainment if you’ve got a couple of hours of your life that you never want back!’
Ms Hughes and her autistic son Fred, who is now 10. The senator said ‘misinformed’ comments about the link between autism and vaccines were ‘concerning’
The NSW Senator said comments about her 10-year-old autistic son Fred were particularly concerning.
‘The effect is nothing on me, I know how lunatic these people are, but the effect on the parents that don’t have the same level of resilience is obviously really concerning,’ Ms Hughes told The Daily Telegraph.
‘There are a lot of parents out there who are frightened when they get overwhelmed and they are told autism is the worst thing in the world, when it is not, death by measles is considerably worse than autism.’
Ms Hughes’ original video that sparked anger was responding to ‘reckless activists in the anti-vax movement’.
‘It angers me to think of all the parents who oppose vaccination and expose their families and others to devastating and often fatal diseases,’ Ms Hughes said in the video.
‘Like many MPs, I have been receiving scores of letters from the anti-vax movement in what is obviously a concerted campaign to counter this week’s spotlight on immunisation’s incredible life-saving benefits.’
Ms Hughes poses after being elected to the NSW Senate last year. The senator said on Sunday that she is receiving ongoing abuse due to her pro-vaccine stance
Ms Hughes inundation of letters comes after anti-vaxxer couple Anthony and Kate Golle created a letter campaign to politicians to ‘take back your rights for mandatory vaccination’.
The couple instructed their 40,000-member Facebook group Empowered Lifestyle Revolution to pay $5 each for a series of proforma letters to send to politicians.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Mr and Mrs Golle were responsible for hate messages and comments sent to Ms Hughes.
Ms Hughes inundation of letters comes after anti-vaxxer couple Anthony (left) and Kate (right) Golle created a letter campaign to politicians to ‘take back your rights for mandatory vaccination’