A damning report released by the ACT government has outlined two dozen recommendations to improve the territory’s response to those who report sexual assault.
- The ACT government has unveiled a detailed report that highlights the territory’s shortcomings in responding to survivors of sexual assault
- The report spanned many ACT government sectors and called for law reforms and changes to the justice system
- One of the recommendations was for the ACT to move to an affirmative consent model
The recommendations from the report released on Monday are wide-reaching and outline the need for reform across multiple sectors.
They include improved education — particularly for marginalised communities — law reforms and new methods to help sexual assault survivors navigate the criminal justice system.
Victims of Crime Commissioner Heidi Yates said the report highlighted the failings of the ACT government.
“It does tell us just how grave the failures of our local system are,” she said.
“Now is the opportunity to hear those voices and to understand how we can be better.”
Codie Bell alleges she was sexually assaulted at the Australian National University in 2015, but said she did not make a police report, as she did not see the criminal justice system delivering the outcome she wanted.
“I knew that there was a very limited chance that it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened was non-consensual,” she said.
Ms Bell said she viewed the court process as causing her too much personal distress and therefore avoided telling police about her experience.
“I knew that what I was being offered was not going to be worth it and I knew that there had to be alternatives.
“There had to be other ways to prevent this person from creating further damage.”