Election campaign call for Carly's Law in SA
On the 11-year anniversary of the murder of 15-year-old South Australian Carly Ryan by an online predator, the Foundation named in her honour is calling for Carly’s Law to be introduced in SA.
The renewed push coincides with the state election campaign officially kicking off on the weekend, ahead of the March 17 poll.
Founder and CEO of The Carly Ryan Foundation and Carly’s mum, Sonya Ryan, said the 20th of February was an unbelievably difficult day each year for Carly’s family and friends but she’s driven by what has already been achieved through Carly’s legacy.
"Last year, following the 10-year anniversary of Carly’s murder, the CRF successfully campaigned for Carly’s Law to be inserted into the Commonwealth Criminal Code and I hope to see the same bipartisan support in SA," Sonya said.
"All Australian jurisdictions have a responsibility for combatting child sex offences and SA should ensure it has properly filled the gap in legislation here.
"SA-Best has guaranteed they will introduce a bill for Carly’s Law if any of their candidates are elected. I call on the Labor and Liberal Parties to pledge their support for Carly’s Law in the next parliament."
The proposed state legislation is the original form of Carly’s Law which makes lying about your age to a child online and attempting to meet that child, a crime.
Garry Newman, the 50-year-old paedophile who murdered Carly, posed as an 18-year-old musician from Melbourne to deceive her for 18 months through online contact and phone calls.
At a Commonwealth level, while broad in that any act in preparation to cause harm or engage in sexual activity with a child is outlawed, Carly’s Law requires that police prove there is intent to commit harm.
This year, the CRF has also launched ‘Project Connect’, its new online safety seminars for students from year 5 to year 12 and for parents and the community.
"Community education is the most important element of preventing crimes from occurring in the first place," Sonya said.
"The CRF’s online safety seminars have reached more than 100,000 South Australian children so far and many more around the country.
"Project Connect builds on that work with topics not just including online safety, but also emotional intelligence, image-based abuse resilience, understanding the law, empowerment and connection to support services.
"High school students can also access sex education workshops that cover healthy relationships, impact of online pornography, consent and coercion, and referral services and support.
"Both Carly and I would have benefitted from Project Connect immensely 11 years ago and I strongly encourage every school and parent to reach out to us to discuss the seminars or other resources we can provide.
"Carly’s Law is vital to ensuring our law enforcement agencies are able to intercept perpetrators but our kids and parents must know what behaviours and communications to look for and report and how to protect themselves even before the police step in."
For more information on Project Connect email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Karina Natt - email@example.com