#LetUsSpeak Is Pushing VIC To ‘Urgently’ Overturn Laws Keeping Sexual Abuse Victims Silent

Victoria’s Attorney-General has vowed to “urgently” investigate laws effectively banning sexual assault survivors from using their real names while telling their stories – even if they consent to doing so.

For The Herald Sun, Nina Funnell today reported on February’s changes to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act, which technically make it illegal for Victorian survivors to identify themselves in the media after a perpetrator has been found guilty, or after charges have been laid.

The punishments are stark: Funnell writes that any survivor found to have breached the law could face up to four months behind bars and a $3,000 penalty, while media outlets who use real names could also face fines of over $8,000.

Those restrictions also apply to anyone who has previously used their name in the media. Court orders are currently the only workaround, but that’s not always an option for survivors who want to speak out.

Funnell is also spearheading the Let Us Speak campaign, which hopes to draw attention to the issue and raise funds for three survivors so they can obtain the appropriate court orders.

At time of writing, more than 433 donors have chipped in, contributing more than $17,000 to the cause.

The campaign appears has captured the attention of Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy, who this afternoon pledged to look into the situation.

“I acknowledge the strength and resilience of victims who come forward and tell their stories – it is an incredibly brave and difficult thing to do,” she said on social media.

“The changes that took effect in February were about reducing barriers and improving clarity for victims who want to talk about their experiences, not about introducing new restrictions for survivors who want to go public with their story.”

Hennessy said she has asked the Department of Justice and Community Safety to “urgently” investigate what tweaks are needed to make sure the law doesn’t stifle the speech of survivors.


You’d certainly hope so.

You can check out the Let Us Speak campaign here.

Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.