Health | November 13, 2020

The Nationals and Liberals stand up for victims of sexual assault

The Nationals and Liberals have taken a stand in support of victims of sexual assault in State Parliament this week, driving amendments to the Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Bill.

The law proposed by the Andrews Labor Government would have made it illegal to name deceased sexual assault victims in Victoria without first obtaining a court order. 

Following comprehensive debate, the Bill was voted down by The Nationals and Liberals and the majority of crossbenchers.

Ms Kealy commended Shadow Attorney General Edward O’Donohue for leading the debate that saw the upper house pass an amendment that will preserve the legal status quo for the families of deceased sexual assault victims.

Ms Kealy said in addition to making it illegal for families to talk about their personal experiences as victims, Labor shockingly failed to consult with sexual assault survivors and their families.

“It was extremely upsetting for victims of sexual assault and their families that the government tried to pass a law without listening to the experiences and needs of those the proposed law impacts most,” she said.

“The Nationals and Liberals’ amendment will ensure families can continue to speak about their deceased loved one without obtaining an expensive court order.

“Daniel Andrews now has a duty to accept these amendments and not maintain Labor’s misguided and hurtful position seeking to silence those who have already suffered too much.

“The Bill must now to go to the lower house, with significant amendments to maintain the status quo of victims and address the fundamental flaws.

“Our amendments are a win for sexual assault victims and their families in Victoria, and I sincerely thank the brave individuals who shared their incredibly personal and harrowing stories to inform the debate. 

“Your voices have been heard and understood.”

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