Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
After years of advocacy on behalf of women in abusive relationships, the Greens welcome the release of draft legislation for the standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation.
We also hope to soon see the related amendments to the Family Violence Act 2004 and Sentencing Act 1997 that were recommended by the Sentencing Advisory Council and previously committed to by the Liberals.
The Tasmanian Coroner, family violence advocates and survivors, the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, every other Australian state, and the Tasmanian Greens, have recognised the need to make non-fatal strangulation a standalone offence.
We also acknowledge Minister Petrusma’s personal experience, and dedication to getting these laws enacted. In Minister Petrusma, Tasmanian women have a genuine ally.
We also welcome the proposed inclusion of the offence of ‘stealthing’ to the Criminal Code. Consent should be as clear as possible to everyone, especially in the law.
The standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation provides clarity to victims that this is a crime, and will hopefully give them more confidence to come forward. It will help protect women’s lives.
We hope when both of these offences become law, training and resourcing for survivor support services will also be increased.
It’s been almost three years since it was first recommended by Coroner Olivia McTaggart in 2019, but the Greens are pleased to see real progress. We trust the Gutwein Government will introduce legislation to the Tasmanian Parliament early in 2022.