MEDIA RELEASE: SEXUAL CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN PASSES
SEXUAL CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN BILL PASSES!
The Carly Ryan Foundation welcomes the long-awaited passage of the Sexual Crimes Against Children Bill.
Sonya Ryan, CEO & Founder of the Carly Ryan Foundation said:
“This Bill has been politicised for many years now which has come at the expense of justice for children who are victims of sexual abuse.
"The inclusion of mandatory minimum sentencing has been the source of much political debate, but there were other, very good aspects of this bill that were also being held up.
“These measures include greater protection for vulnerable witnesses -like children- in the court process. There are increases to maximum penalties for child sex offences so that parliament is sending judges a clear message: society will no longer tolerate inadequate sentences for child abusers.
“These are important sentencing reforms that will make a real difference. They are very much overdue.
“The CRF pushed for a compromise that would see this Bill get across the line and for a review of sentencing in a few years, which was agreed to by all parties.
“Mandatory minimum sentences of five to seven years is still not long enough to do justice for victims of these heinous crimes. However, combined with the other aspects of the bill such as the removal of concurrent sentencing, we may start to see sentences more in line with community expectations.
“If not, then the review will be there to address any shortcomings of these new laws.
“Laws addressing sexual crimes against children should always be above politics. Today the Parliament has acted in the best interests of our children and their families, and we welcome it.”
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