Make a submission to the Sexual Offences inquiry

How to make a submission to the VLRC’s inquiry into improving the response of the justice system to sexual offending

Please note – if you would like to make a submission that relates to your personal experience of being sexually assaulted, or of supporting someone who was sexually assaulted, please see below [‘Making a submission if you have personal experience.’]

You can tell us your views by sending us a submission. A submission is a written response to this inquiry. Our issues papers ask a range of questions on different topics.

You can answer as many questions as you like, or you can respond to our terms of reference more generally without using the questions.

You can respond to one issues paper or more than one. You can read all the questions from all the issues papers by downloading the question list.

There is no standard format for submissions, but we prefer them to be in writing.

If you need assistance, you can make a submission verbally to one of the Commission staff. Please contact us if you need an interpreter or other assistance.

Many organisations and people may have already made submissions to similar inquiries. If you do not have enough time to respond to this inquiry, you can send us any relevant submission you have made before and let us know which parts of that submission remain relevant.

When you make a submission, you must tell us if you want your submission to be public or confidential. If you do not tell us you want your submission to be confidential, we will treat it as public. That means that we may refer to it in our reports, upload it to our website and make it available to the public to read in our offices.

Your submission should include your name or organisation. If it does not have a name attached, it may be difficult for us to use the information. You can ask us not to publish your name in our report, but otherwise we will publish your name in our list of submissions, subject to any laws that apply.

Please make your submission by 23 December 2020. You can make your submission by:
  • Sending your submission by email: law.reform@lawreform.vic.gov.au
  • Sending your submission by mail: GPO Box 4637, Melbourne Vic 3001
  • Phone: (03) 8608 7800, 1300 666 557 (TTY) or 1300 666 555 (cost of a local call).

How we will use your submission

We will publish public submissions on our website, unless they include comments that are offensive or defamatory, or are outside the scope of the review. However:

  • we will remove personal addresses and contact details
  • we may remove the names of people making submissions who have experienced sexual harm, depending on the circumstances (for example, if they do not consent to being identified)
  • we may remove information that might identify someone (in submissions that discuss specific cases or the personal circumstances of people)

Please note that we do not provide legal advice. If you need help with a legal issue, you can contact Victoria Legal Aid, a community legal centre or a solicitor.

You may find it difficult or upsetting to discuss experiences of sexual harm and seeking justice. We encourage you to seek support from the services on this list of support services.

Making a submission if you have personal experience of being sexually assaulted, or of supporting someone who was sexually assaulted 

Online: We have tried to make it easier for people who have experienced sexual harm, or helped someone who has, to give us feedback through a short online form at the website of Engage Victoria. We will not publish anyone’s individual responses to the online feedback form. We will publish a summary of responses that will not identify anyone.

In writing: If you would like to provide a written submission, we ask some questions in our issues paper, ‘Have you or someone you know experienced sexual assault? – We want to hear from you’. You can download this paper from the issues paper page.

These questions are about finding out:

  • what would make it easier to tell someone what happened
  • what would make it easier to get support
  • how we can make it easier to get justice, including through the legal system
  • if there are other options that could help deal with what happened other than the criminal law.
You do not need to tell us any personal information such as:
 
  • your name
  • anyone else’s name
  • your phone number
  • details about your sexual assault
How we will use your submission
We will use the information we receive from submissions to write a report for the government. This report will tell the government what improvements we think need to happen. For example, we can tell the government it should start a new program, continue a program, or change the law. The Government will then decide what to do.
 
If the sexual assault happened when you, or the person you helped, were under 16, you should only give us information if:
  • what you are telling us has already been reported to the police or
  • you or the person you helped was over 16 on 27 October 2014.
Otherwise, the law says that we have to tell the police what you tell us. This is to protect children who have been sexually assaulted.

When you make a submission, you must tell us if you want your submission to be public or confidential. If you do not tell us you want your submission to be confidential, we will treat it as public. That means that we may refer to it in our reports, upload it to our website and make it available to the public to read in our offices.

 
We will publish public submissions on our website, unless they include comments that are offensive or defamatory, or are outside the scope of the review. However:
  • we will remove personal addresses and contact details
  • we may remove the names of people making submissions who have experienced sexual harm, depending on the circumstances (for example, if they do not consent to being identified)
  • we may remove information that might identify someone (in submissions that discuss specific cases or the personal circumstances of people)

We cannot provide people who have been sexually assaulted with legal advice or counselling support. If you want to talk to a counsellor or a lawyer about what happened, we encourage you to use these support services.

 

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