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Labor renews calls to rename abuse laws

  • “Maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person” offence implies consent
  • Government must listen, and call abuse out for what it is

The Liberal Government must end its completely out of touch opposition to renaming the offence of “maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person.”

The Liberals voted against Labor’s sensible amendments in Parliament last year to rename the offence “persistent sexual abuse of a child”.

Following Grace Tame’s brave statements this week, Shadow Attorney General Ella Haddad has again called on the Hodgman Government to finally rename the “maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person” offence.

“This offence could have been renamed long ago if it wasn’t for the senseless opposition of Elise Archer.

The term “relationship” in all child sexual offences contained in Tasmania’s Criminal Code should also be removed and updated.

Shadow Attorney General Ella Haddad said Elise Archer must act now.

“The current wording of these offences implies that there is consent from the child,” Ms Haddad said.

“Implying a relationship exists between offenders and victims sends a terrible message.

“We need to call this out for what it is – the heinous and persistent sexual abuse of a child by an adult.

“Labor moved an amendment to include this change in the Government’s Family Violence Reform Bill in October but was defeated by the Liberals.

“It’s time for the Government to recognise how misleading and offensive the current wording is, and urgently amend the laws.”

Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General