Many victim-survivors of sexual, family and domestic violence describe the court process as horrific and retraumatising.
The Greens support the work being done to identify problems with criminal justice responses to sexual violence and strengthen trauma-informed approaches and wrap-around services.
In particular, we welcome the recent endorsement of the Work Plan to Strengthen Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault by all Attorneys-General and the commitment of the ACT government to make victim-surivors’ recorded testimony admissible.
In light of the strength and resilience Brittany Higgins has shown and the change she has already driven to reform parliamentary culture, the Greens will push anew for this and other procedural protections to be rolled out nationally as a matter of urgency.
To end Australia’s culture of sexual violence, harassment and abuse we must start by supporting victims to come forward, and dismantling power imbalances and gender stereotypes that deter them from doing so.
At this time it is important to remember the toll that any sort of criminal proceedings take and the broader impact of intense coverage in deterring people from coming forward.
This week the Senate established an inquiry into the ways that consent laws impact survivor experience of the justice system.
We will be working through that inquiry to ensure survivors are supported to seek justice and start their recovery.
Senator Larissa Waters
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.