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No to Violence draws ‘line in the sand’ in responding to sexual violence in Australia

26 July 2023

At today’s Senate Hearing into current and proposed sexual consent laws, No to Violence CEO Jacqui Watt called for an affirmative consent model that for any case that comes before the court, focuses on the actions of the accused person in seeking consent rather than the actions of the victim-survivor.

“This Inquiry is an important opportunity to draw a line in the sand and set a new standard for responding to sexual violence in this country,” said Ms Watt in her opening address at this morning’s session in Melbourne.

No to Violence was the only peak body for men’s family violence services invited to appear before the Inquiry into nationally consistent sexual consent laws, bringing their specialist expertise in the area of sexual assault in the context of domestic and family violence and intimate partner violence.

“This is an important step towards reforming our legal and justice system so that victim-survivors can access justice, and men using violence are held accountable for their behaviour,” said Ms Watt

“It is a chance to remove the barriers victim-survivors face in their pursuit of justice, and to send a powerful message to men that their sexually coercive and violent behaviour will not be tolerated.”

As the national leader in breaking the cycle of male family violence in Australia, No to Violence consistently provides trusted advice to Federal, State and Territory Governments on legislative reform, including recently providing advice on sexual consent law reform to the Tasmanian and New South Wales governments.

No to Violence has a strong background working closely with the criminal justice system including Courts and Police Forces to support their awareness of the gendered nature of family violence, including sexual violence.

The organisation sits on the National Plan Advisory Group and plays a key role in supporting the government to achieve its ambitious goal of ending violence against women and children within a generation.

“We know that this goal cannot be achieved without working directly with men,” says Ms Watt.

“We look forward to the recommendations and outcomes that arise from this Inquiry and stand ready to work with Government to address men’s use of domestic and family violence including sexual assault.”

“We can do better, and we must.”

Ms Watt cautions that legislative reform will not in and of itself bring about sufficient change.

“To realise the true potential of the proposed reforms, there needs to be a coordinated approach that includes public awareness and education campaigns, additional supports for victim-survivors of sexual assault, training for key workforces, and support for culturally appropriate and responsive services.”

Stop the cycle of violence. If you are concerned about your or someone else’s behaviour, call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit for advice and support. 


Note to outlets: Please run the Men’s Referral Service number so that all men in Australia who need help, can access help.  

Jacqui Watt is available for interview. Media contact: David Sutherland at or phone 0405 354 343

About No to Violence  

No to Violence is Australia’s largest and only national peak body for organisations that work with men that use violence, providing training, sector development and advocacy across the sector.

It also operates the Men’s Referral Service, providing a counselling service and referral pathways directly to men who use violence.

Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of women and children. Always. Visit