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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2938 ..


Bill 2021, which deals with consent more broadly. I would like to thank Dr Paterson for her engagement with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program group, as well as her presentation to the Law Reform Working Group.

The draft recommendations of the Law Reform Working Group regarding both bills and the law of consent more generally are currently being considered by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Steering Committee, in the context of the overarching goals of the program, which look at preventing sexual assault and improving responses to victims. I look forward to sharing the final report from the steering committee with Ms Lee once it has been finalised and presented to me.

There must be a justice response for victim survivors. In saying that, I want to acknowledge that there are many different experiences and that our response needs to provide more than just one pathway. This work cannot be just about changing the law. As is the case with domestic, family and intimate partner violence, we simply cannot arrest our way out of this. It is important to change cultural attitudes and break down those power dynamics. It is work that needs to happen from the ground up, led by partners in the community and justice sectors, and with the support of my colleagues here in the Assembly.

I want to finish with a message of hope, especially for victim survivors. This is a momentous time, a challenging time, but it is time to put survivors at the centre of how we respond to sexual assault and violence. I have hope that the community is ready to make long-lasting change to the culture of behaviour, and that this bill is just the beginning of that. We must encourage everybody to join us on this journey for change. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (5.34), in reply: Stealthing is the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex. The non-consensual removal of a condom during sex negates consent. Sex without consent is sexual assault, and sexual assault is a crime.

When I tabled the Crimes (Stealthing) Amendment Bill in April this year I did so because I knew that many people have experienced stealthing but were unsure of our laws or aghast that our laws did not reflect community sentiment that this is a heinous act that is a crime. My bill amends the Crimes Act by inserting a new section 67(1)(ga) that an intentional misrepresentation about the use of a condom is a factor that negates consent. This would include both the non-consensual removal of a condom during sex as well as not using a condom at all when consent for sexual intercourse is given.

Stealthing is an appalling thing to do to anyone, and we know that it has long-lasting impacts on the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of victims. It violates our bodily autonomy in the most intimate of moments, and victims have spoken about the impact that it has on their ability to trust people.

Since I introduced my bill in April, women and men from all over the country—in fact, the world—have reached out to me with their own stories about stealthing. They are all disturbing and shocking, but the ones that hit home the most were the ones


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