Full Stop Australia welcomed the announcement by the Attorneys-General to improve justice responses for sexual assault survivors across Australia.
In a letter to Full Stop Australia, the Attorney General Hon Mark Dreyfus confirmed that at the Meeting of Attorneys-General “all members agreed to endorse and publish the Meeting of Attorneys-General Work Plan to Strengthen Justice Reponses to Sexual Assault 2022-2027.”
Significantly the Australian, state and territory governments will take individual and collective action on criminal justice responses to sexual assault to improve justice responses across the country.
Furthermore, a national review will be conducted to identify the impact of any substantive inconsistencies between legal frameworks.
Full Stop Australia CEO, Hayley Foster, welcomed the announcement by the Attorneys General noting the longstanding need for reform.
“Our current justice system is simply not equipped to deliver just outcomes for sexual assault survivors with just 1.5% of assaults resulting in a conviction,” Ms Foster said.
“Moreover, the justice system itself is extremely re-traumatising for victims who are commonly torn to shreds on the stand and made to give evidence in the presence of the accused. Often these battles can go on for years and victims have little or no support.”
“For many years survivor advocates and sexual violence service providers have been calling for national leadership to address these failings and inconsistencies across jurisdictions and we congratulate all Attorneys-General on this announcement.”
For decades, Full Stop Australia has been calling upon Attorneys-Generals across the country to strengthen the criminal justice response to sexual violence, most recently in a submission earlier this year.
The Communique on the Meeting of Attorneys-General Work Plan to Strengthen Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault 2022-207 can be accessed here.