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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 14

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of Parliament assembled in the House of Representatives, Canberra the humble petition of the undersigned members or organisations listed below and citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That current laws relating to sexual offences against women are discriminatory against all women, and in particular against married women; and that current laws relating to sexual offences are ineffective and inadequate to protect married and unmarried women; and that we believe that both married and unmarried women should be effectively and adequately protected by law against sexual abuse.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray:

That laws relating to sexual offences against women must be redefined to include all forms of sexual abuse against married and unmarried women, including all forms of coercion - physical, psychological, exploitative, extortionary and authority-based, and including sexual harrassment in any form, particularly at work and in educational institutions.

That evidence laws applicable generally to assault crimes must be acknowledged as applicable to sexual offences and the rules relating to corroboration in assault crimes must be made applicable to sexual offences.

That laws must be reformed so that accused persons are not entitled to abuse the criminal justice system; and furthermore laws must be revised to give greater protection to the victim and to minimise her distress.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray, by Mr Les McMahon. Petition received.

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