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Labor welcomes changes to protect survivors of sexual abuse

  • Gag laws should be removed
  • More information needed on changes to Criminal Code
  • Labor has long advocated to change wording around “relationships”

Labor has welcomed changes to section 194K of the Evidence Act announced by the State Government today.

Shadow Attorney General Ella Haddad said that Labor has long called for the Hodgman Government to amend section 125A of the Criminal Code, to rename the current crime “maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person” to “persistent sexual abuse of a child”.

“It is vital that the rights of survivors of sexual abuse are always put first,” Ms Haddad.

“We know current laws don’t always do that, and we will work constructively with the Government as the legislation is being drafted.

“The Government must also immediately legislate to change the wording of section 125A of the Criminal Code from its current outdated and misleading wording (maintaining a sexual relationship with a child).

“I moved an amendment to do this in October last year, but the Government voted against it. Labor welcomes the change of position from the Government and looks forward to more information on the proposed changes.

“The current wording of the crime implies that there is consent from the child.

“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.”

Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General