Labor must address victim gag mess

Revelations that families of deceased sexual assault victims may be gagged in future from continuing to publicly self-identify themselves and their loved ones without a court order are deeply concerning and must be urgently addressed by Premier, Daniel Andrews and Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy.

The fact that the Government’s new laws may gag family members from publicly writing or speaking about the identity of a deceased sexual assault victim, as well as prohibiting any mention or publication of their names in print, online or social media, must be resolved.

Labor’s Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy must immediately release any legal advice concerning this important matter, including advice from the Victorian Government Solicitors Office (VGSO).

Daniel Andrews must also provide an assurance to victims’ families and victims’ advocates that Labor’s Justice Legislation Amendment (Supporting Victims and Other Matters) Bill 2020 currently before Parliament, will not adversely affect already vulnerable victims’ families.

Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:

“Labor, in its haste to fix one of its mistakes may have now created another.

“This is a serious and important matter and Labor must fix this mess before the Bill is debated in Parliament on Wednesday.

“The rights of victims and their families must always be front and centre, they deserve nothing less.”

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