Advertisement

#LetHerSpeak: Sexual Abuse Survivors In Tasmania Win The Right To Tell Their Stories

Sexual abuse survivors will soon be able to tell their stories publicly in Tasmania after a successful campaign to close a loophole banning them from identifying themselves.

The long-running #LetHerSpeak campaign was run by survivors demanding the right to identify themselves in the media without having to get a court order first.

Attorney-General Elise Archer on Sunday announced the laws would be changed to bring Tasmania into line with other states.

Under the planned changes, adult survivors will be able to tell their stories publicly if they give a publication written consent.

"It's important because some victims of crime, as part of their own recovery, feel it necessary and feel that it's therapeutic as well to be able to tell their stories," Archer told reporters.

Journalist Nina Funnell has been working with sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame on the #LetHerSpeak campaign. Image: Supplied.

In the proposed laws, the victim must not have been coerced into agreeing and must not have a mental impairment making them incapable of exercising reasonable judgement about being named.

A new offence will also be introduced for publications that breach the law.

"This has come about as a result of many victims expressing their concern that the laws don't strike the right balance in Tasmania," Archer said.

Tasmanian and the Northern Territory are the only places in Australia where adult sex assault victims can't name themselves in the media.

A woman who was abducted and gang-raped at Burnie on Christmas Eve in 1993 is among those who have campaigned to change the law.

"As rape survivors, we didn't get a choice in what happened to us, but we should get a choice in what we can say about it," she said in a submission to the government earlier this year.

"Without my name or my face, it is not my story, it is just my words, and I am just another number. This is dehumanising in the extreme."

Tasmania also plans to reword the crime of "maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person" after the use of the term "relationship" was criticised as inappropriate.

To speak to someone around issues relating to sexual assault, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.