News

#LetUsSpeak: Victorian Gov urged to change law which could jail sexual assault victims for going public

The #LetUsSpeak movement has urged the Victorian Government to review a law preventing sexual assault survivors from publicising their experiences.

The Victorian Government is set to review a law which makes it illegal for sexual assault victims to speak publicly about their experiences after the Let Us Speak campaign put a spotlight on the abhorrent legislation.

The law was quietly passed in February, making it an offence for anyone to publicly identify a victim of sexual assault after their perpetrator had been found guilty or been charged.

#LetUsSpeak, victorian government, sexual assault, sexual assault survivors, victorian law,
Chris Hopkins

However, the law made no allowance for the victims themselves, meaning survivors have essentially been silenced, with sentences of up to four months and a $3000 penalty if their name was published in any media outlet.

Survivors would have to go through court processes in order to get the ‘gag order’ lifted, which can be expensive to pursue.

The #LetUsSpeak campaign was subsequently launched with campaigner Nina Funnel writing on the fundraising page, “This has been described as a ‘win’ for paedophiles and rapists, and is a huge blow for survivors who no longer have the legal right to speak out.”

$50,000 has been raised on the GoFundMe page, with aims for the funds to go towards three sexual assault survivors in order to obtain court orders to publicise their experiences.

With the campaign raising awareness around the law, Victorian Attorney-General Jil Hennessy took to Twitter to discuss the issue and urge the Department of Justice and Community Safety to review the law.

She said, “The changes that took effect in February were about reducing barriers and improving clarity for victims who want to all about their experiences, not about introducing new restrictions for survivors who want to go public with their story.”

To donate to the campaign, head here.