The change in the Sexual Law means clear consent must be given prior to any act – not just the absence of resistance

The change in the Sexual Law means clear consent must be given prior to any act – not just the absence of resistance

Anyone initiating sex must now get the other person’s “confirmatory consent” before proceeding after new laws were passed in New South Wales on Tuesday.

A lack of refusal is no longer considered sufficient to justify consent, and under the new laws, any sexual act is considered non-consensual unless the other person says or does something to clearly signal consent.

Attorney General Mark Speakman says the “common sense reforms” will ensure “more effective prosecution of sex offenses”.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman welcomed the passage of new sexual consent laws that will enable more effective prosecution of rape and other sex crimes

He dismissed critics who feared the laws would make prep for sex too formal and clunky.

“It doesn’t require a written agreement or script, or it stifles spontaneity. It’s a matter of common sense and respect, ”said Mr. Speakman.

“As part of our reforms, if you want to have sexual activity with someone, you have to do or say something to find out if they want to have sex with you too.

‘As simple as that.’

Mr. Speakman commended Saxon Mullins, director of research and advocacy on rape and sexual assault, “for their extraordinary courage to share their lived experiences and tirelessly advocate for victim-survivors to ensure their voices are heard”.

Saxon Mullins, rape law reform activist, said the new laws “changed the world”

Ms. Mullins battled an injunction in 2018 to speak about her own experience, prompting Mr. Speakman to make efforts to change the law and define consent more clearly.

In response to news that the law was passed, Ms. Mullins said on Twitter that she was unsure whether to “cry, dance, or drink champagne.”

“I think I’ll do a combination of all three,” she said.

“Every survivor and expert who helped changed the world today.”

Unambiguous consent – oral or act – is required for either gender to be considered consensual

Judges, legal practitioners and police will be made aware of the new laws before they come into force in mid-2022.

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