Enough is enough.
Sexual assault reform is something that’s very important to me, and something that I will be a strong advocate for.
Broadscale community cultural change is needed. We need action. We also need to ensure that it’s done right. We need legislative reform, prevention, victim support, community education and awareness, with the ultimate goal of long-term culture change. We need a fundamental shift in how we perceive, act upon, and respond to gendered norms.
In all my work with stakeholders and with constituents on the ground – men and women - the message that is coming through loud and clear is that we are at a critical junction: Enough is enough.
I’m not afraid to have tough conversations, to push boundaries and to challenge norms to bring about cultural change – I ask that you come with me on that journey.
As Grace Tame has said – we can’t fix a problem we don’t discuss. Despite how hard the conversations are, I strongly encourage the community to keep talking about this.
Keep talking about our culture, our values.
Keep talking about our expectations of behaviour.
Keep talking about consent.
I want to commend every person in our community who has created a safe space, a safe conversation, a safe interaction - for someone to disclose their story or their pain. You are a major part of the solution.
To victims of sexual assault in the ACT, I will be a strong advocate for you. You do not have to carry the weight of the secrets, the burden alone.
To the community more broadly, be brave – support each other to have these hard conversations. If we could talk about sexual assault the way we do about other crimes, openly and with respect for the victims, we will move mountains. Perpetrators of this violence thrive in the silence. That is why it is everyone’s responsibility to end the silence.
If you or anyone you know needs support, please contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), available 24 hours or via online chat service at https://www.1800respect.org.au/
Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT Ph 62 800 900, 24/7 crisis line
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre Ph 6247 2525, 7 days a week, 7:00am to 11:00pm
ACT Human Rights Commission Victim Support ACT Ph 6205 2222 Mon-Fri, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Women's Legal Centre ACT Ph 6257 4377, Mon-Fri, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), 24 hours, 7 days a week, for those impacted by sexual or domestic violence
Legal Aid ACT Helpline Ph 1300 654 314, Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4.30pm
- May 2021 - Response to Ministerial Statement re: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program -
- March 2021 - Response to Ministerial Statement on the Status of Women and Girls in the ACT
- March 2021 - Response to Ms Suzanne Orr MLA motion re: psychosocial workplace hazards
- March 2021 - Response to Ms Giulia Jones MLA motion re: support for sexual assault survivors in the ACT
- ABC News, 4 Dec 2020, 'Labor MLA Marisa Paterson speaks about sexual harassment in first speech to ACT Legislative Assembly'
- Canberra Weekly, 30 March 2021, 'ACT establishes sexual assault working group'