Support sexual assault survivors to testify on their own terms

In Australia, survivors of sexual assault face immense challenges when seeking justice through the court system. Survivors consistently report providing evidence and cross-examination as the most confronting aspects of the justice system. They often face the distressing prospect of recounting some of the most traumatic moments of their lives within the public setting of a courtroom, with their perpetrator present. This experience can be profoundly retraumatising. 

Survivors deserve a more compassionate and trauma-informed legal process. There is mounting evidence that shows that for many survivors a better option is to pre-record their testimony. This means they can share their stories in a private, secure setting, away from the intimidating atmosphere of a courtroom.

Pre-recording evidence is a crucial tool in reducing trauma, sparing survivors from enduring the agony of retelling their painful experiences multiple times. 

Numerous reviews have identified the significant benefits of pre-recorded testimony, recommending legislative changes to make it accessible. However, access to this critical tool varies widely across the country with NSW, Victoria and WA trailing far behind the rest. 

Can you help show decision-makers that people across the country want a more compassionate and trauma-informed justice system for survivors, and that means enabling survivors to testify on their own terms.

To Attorney-Generals across Australia,

We call on you to enable all victim-survivors of sexual assault seeking justice through the court system to have access to and autonomy to choose to rely on pre recorded evidence for evidence in chief, cross-examination and re-examination.

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