Victim survivors let down again by Andrews Government

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell says victim survivors of sexual abuse have been let down again by the Andrews Government.

Changes to the Judicial Proceedings Act have effectively put a gag order on victims of sexual assault identifying themselves and being able to tell their story publicly.

The Attorney General has known about the issue since April, but only acted to rectify the situation when victims went public via the media promising an urgent solution.

Ms Britnell said despite the Attorney General saying the government would move urgently to make reforms – there has been no legislation introduced to Parliament this week.

“Instead the Attorney General is convening a series of round table discussions to be held this month – we don’t need them, we need changes to be brought before the Parliament as soon as possible,” Ms Britnell said.

She said she was concerned that given the Parliament has only sat for 19 days this year and there is no clear timeline for sittings beyond this week – it could be months before these reforms are enacted.

“We know what needs to be changed – we need to get on and change it to give victims back their voice.

Ms Britnell said she had concerns about the impact of these changes on local victim survivors, particularly given the region was the setting for some of the most horrific crimes against children.

“I have had contact from many of these survivors and their support people – they are fearful that these changes will again make survivors feel that what happened to them is shameful and not something that should be spoken about.

“We all know this is not the case and we must do everything we can to ensure survivors have the opportunity to tell their story if they wish.

“I again call on the Attorney General to genuinely fast-track these changes, scrap the round tables and get the legislation into Parliament.”

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