No to Violence is proud to share its submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the current and proposed sexual consent laws in Australia.
This inquiry is an important step towards reforming our legal and justice system, to ensure perpetrators are held accountable and male violence against women can end.
However, NTV cautions that legislative reform will not in and of itself bring sufficient change.
Any reform aimed at making the criminal justice system more responsive to victim-survivors will require increased investment in the services that keep victim-survivors safe, alongside with perpetrator interventions.
No to Violence is the national peak body for organisations and individuals working with men to end their use of family violence. We operate the Men’s Referral Service national counselling and information phone line, which has a 30-year history working with men to end their use of violence.
We recommend that any reforms arising from this inquiry are enacted in close consultation and collaboration with No to Violence and the perpetrator intervention sector.
No to Violence recommends:
- If there is harmonisation of sexual consent laws across the country, those laws should be kept
- Intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic and family violence (DFV) is recognised as a circumstance of non-consent in sexual assault legislation, with acknowledgement of the intersectionality of sexual assault and IPV and DFV
- Ongoing consultation with Aboriginal organisations and victim-survivors is conducted when amendments to sexual assault legislation are proposed, and police practices continue to be reformed with a greater commitment to collaborative projects (such as justice reform initiatives)
- Legislative changes are supported by well-resourced public awareness and education campaigns, including comprehensive training for justice, health and perpetrator intervention sectors to end men’s use of domestic violence inclusive of sexual violence
You can read our full recommendations here.
If we do not address the root causes that enable men to use family violence, they will continue to be violent and abusive.
We look forward to working with the government on law reform in this area.
Men’s Referral Service is a national counselling, information, and referral service for men who use violence against women. If you are concerned about someone using violence, call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit ntv.org.au/get-help/ for advice and support.