Where to in 2021
So far the campaign has had success securing law reforms across three jurisdictions but there is still work ahead. Across 2021, we will continue to support individual survivors while also advocating for law and policy and reform.
1. Continue to fight gag-laws in the Northern Territory.
In July 2020, the NT Government made some amendments to the Sexual Offences (Evidence & Procedure) Act 1983 in response to the #LetHerSpeakNT campaign. Those reforms eased the sexual assault victim gag laws but they only went half way. Even once a case has resulted in a conviction a victim is not able to speak to media unless all possible appeals are over.
As a result, ‘Sandra’ whose case spearheaded the NT #LetHerSpeak Campaign, is still unable to reveal her real name and would face 6 months jail for doing so. In Sandra’s case, her offender, Kevin Willcocks, was found guilty of raping Sandra in front of a group of men at a bucks party back in 2017.
He has already served his nine month jail stint and has been released from prison. Despite his release he continues to appeal the verdict. In doing so will continue to keep Sandra indefinitely gagged, until such a time that all appeal avenues are exhausted (which could take years), the law changes, or Sandra goes back to court to obtain a court order at her own inconvenience.
Sandra has been working on a documentary with Jerboa films director, Blue Lucine. ‘Sandra’ should not have to wait another day to tell her story under her real name.
The campaign has been working with Sandra since 2019 and will continue to do so until she can speak.
2. Fight alongside families to prevent the introduction of gag laws which would erase the legacies of deceased rape victims in Victoria.
In 2021, the Victorian government is considering a gag-law on naming all deceased rape victims. If the gag is enforced it would become a crime for grieving relatives, media, and others to name women like Jill Meagher and Aiia Maasarwe.
Families of murdered and deceased rape victims are furious. Not only could they face up to four months jail for naming their deceased loved one’s on social media, but the law would also prevent them from advocating in media as a relative of a deceased sexual assault victim.
The campaign is currently working with multiple impacted families to support them. We are also engaged with ongoing government consultations occurring in 2021.
The issue is scheduled to be debated some time before September 2021.
3. Survivor voices project: support survivor stories.
Since the campaign first launched in 2018, it has become clear to the campaign creator and partners that more resources are needed to support survivors to understand their rights when working with media. The campaign is currently working to develop materials and resources to support survivors to tell their stories.