Jenny Leong MP, Greens spokesperson for Women’s Rights has today given notice that she will introduce the Crimes Amendment (Enthusiastic Consent) Bill to the NSW Parliament to reform consent laws in NSW.
Our current laws make it almost impossible for victim-survivors of sexual assault to get justice, with definitions around consent, non-consent and knowlege of consent falling heaviliy in favour of the perpetrator.
Jenny Leong MP, Greens NSW spokesperson for Women’s Rights says:
“Tens of thousands of women have taken to the streets this week calling for this reform. The strengthening of consent laws must be one of our highest priorities and if the Attorney General isn’t going to act, then we will.”
“There are huge problems with our current laws on consent in regard to sexual assault. As a result, reporting rates are staggeringly low, conviction rates are worse. These laws need urgent reform so that victim-survivors can get justice.
“We know that the current laws protect rapists, not victim-survivors, and the Attorney General knows it too. We can’t afford to let our laws block justice a moment longer - we need this reform right now.
“This reform has already been achieved in Victoria and Tasmania. We are committed to working with experts, stakeholders and those with lived experience to develop this bill to ensure NSW has the strongest protections when it comes to consent laws.
“The Attorney General recognised the need for this change three years ago and referred the matter to the Law Reform Commission who received input from experts and stakeholders and handed down a report. He has everything he needs to make this reform a reality to stop sexual assault and ensure justice for victim-survivors.”
- Consent laws in NSW were thrown under intense scrutiny in 2017 following the acquittal of a man accused of raping an 18 year old woman outside a nightclub in Sydney. Despite the Judge agreeing that the woman had not consented to sex, she found that the woman’s ‘freeze response’ had provided reasonable grounds for the man’s belief in consent.
- In 2018 the NSW Attorney General acknowledged that the laws needed review and referred the matter to the Law Reform Commission but is yet to act on the findings.
- Law Reform Commission report - Consent in relation to sexial offences
- Submission by the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to the Law Reform Commisson Review.
- Over 1760 people have signed an open letter to the NSW Attorney General urging him to make the changes to consent law in NSW a high priority which Jenny Leong MP will be delivering to the AG today.
- Growing calls for consent education are closely connected with this reform and an ePetition has been set up by Chanel Contos, sponsored by Jenny Leong MP, which has over 8000 signatures and growing by the day calls for consent education and reforms to the Crimes Act for enthusiastic consent. It requires 20,000 to trigger a debate on the floor of the NSW Legislative Assembly.