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Green Candidate Blames Labor Attacks For Sexist Graffiti On Office

A Greens candidate is blaming Labor's negative campaigning in Melbourne for her office being graffitied.

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Alex Bhathal's nine-year-old son was the first person to notice the graffiti on his mother's Thornbury campaign office during his morning bus ride to school.

Victorian police are investigating who scrawled "Liberal bitch", "sell out" and "liar" in black marker across the glass windows of Bhathal's office.

The Greens candidate says the sexist words have left her feeling unsafe running her campaign.

"I've got limited protections as a volunteer, it's not like I can go off to my boss and say 'what can we do about this'? It's not good.

Specifically she blames this billboard, which accuses her of doing deals with the Liberal party, for inciting the graffiti.

“I don't think it's a coincidence that this has happened," Bhathal said. "The billboard went up yesterday and then this happened this morning."

The billboard, which Bhathal describes as crude propaganda, shows the Liberals and Greens shaking hands and has been erected on the main road of the Batman electorate.

Bhathal emphatically denies any preference deal between the Greens and the Liberal party. She told BuzzFeed News she's actually planning to preference Labor second on her how-to-vote cards.

This isn't the first time the 51-year-old Greens candidate has been targeted - she received death threats during her last campaign.

At the 2013 election, when Bhathal was also the Greens candidate for Batman, a man found her number in the phonebook and called and made threats to her and her children.

"I was completely terrified," she told BuzzFeed News.

"This guy was phoning me and saying ‘I know your children, I know your children’. And he would say to me ‘I’ve killed other women’. It was terrifying. Terrifying."

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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