What New South Wales’ Affirmative Consent Laws Mean for YOUR sex life as Parliament signs major changes

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What New South Wales’ Affirmative Consent Laws Mean for YOUR sex life as Parliament approves major changes

  • New South Wales Parliament passes landmark sexual consent reform to overhaul state laws
  • Attorney General Mark Speakman called the laws “common sense reforms”
  • New law means people will need ‘affirmative consent’ to pursue sexual activity
  • Mr Speakman paid tribute to activist Saxon Mullins for her work










Reforms to the Sexual Consent Act have been passed in New South Wales, which means people have to say or do something to confirm that their partner consents to sexual activity.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the “common sense reforms” would simplify the law and ensure “more effective prosecution of sexual offenses.”

The law requires “affirmative consent,” which means people must say or do something to confirm that their partner consents to sexual activity, or they could be guilty of sexual assault.

“No law can ever erase the trauma of sexual assault, but we have listened to calls for change and consulted with victim-survivors and legal experts to improve our response to sexual violence,” Speakman said.

Reforms to the Sexual Consent Act have been passed in New South Wales, which means people have to say or do something to confirm that their partner consents to sexual activity

Two amendments were added to the bill in the upper house on Friday and it was passed by parliament on Tuesday.

Opposition amendments include clarifying that cognitive or mental health impairment must be a “substantial” cause not to seek consent rather than simply “a” cause, as well as enshrining the conditions in law. and timeframes for a review.

Mr. Speakman especially commended Rape and Sexual Assault Advocacy and Research and Advocacy Director Saxon Mullins “for her extraordinary bravery in sharing her lived experience and tireless advocacy on behalf of victim-survivors to to ensure that their voices are heard “.

Ms Mullins fought a judicial suppression order to talk about her own experiences with ABC’s Four Corners program in 2018, prompting Mr Speakman to ask the Law Reform Commission to review consent in sexual assault trials, which led to changes in the law.

Mr Speakman says that the affirmative consent model “sets clearer boundaries for consensual sex, reinforces the basic principle of common decency that consent is a free choice involving mutual and ongoing communication, and reinforces the fact that consent should not be presumed “.

Mr Speakman particularly praised Saxon Mullins (pictured) 'for his extraordinary bravery', director of research and advocacy on rape and sexual assault.

Mr Speakman particularly praised Saxon Mullins (pictured) ‘for his extraordinary bravery’, director of rape and sexual assault research and advocacy.

What it does not do, as some have feared, is make consensual sex illegal.

“It doesn’t require a written agreement or script, or stifling spontaneity. It’s a matter of common sense and respect, ”said Mr. Speakman.

“As part of our reforms, if you want to have sex with someone, you have to do or say something to find out if they also want to have sex with you.

‘It’s so simple.’

Reacting to the news that the law was passed, Ms Mullins said on Twitter that she was not sure she was “crying, dancing or drinking champagne.”

“I think I’ll do a combination of all three.”

“Every survivor and expert who helped get through this changed the world today,” Ms. Mullins said.

Judges, legal practitioners and the police will receive targeted education programs on the new legislation before it goes into effect in the middle of next year.

There will also be new directions for juries to address common misconceptions in sexual assault cases, community awareness campaigns and research on survivors’ experiences with the criminal justice process.

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