Aussie Radio Host Calls Affirmative Consent Laws A 'Recipe For Trouble'
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As New South Wales affirmative consent laws come into effect, Australian radio host Ben Fordham says the state’s new legislation is a ‘recipe for disaster’.
The state’s new law is a big win for everyone across NSW, as the recent amendment requires parties to give and obtain consent ‘at the time of the act’.
However, the 2GB radio host and journalist has already slammed the law as a ‘legal minefield’.
“The government wants you to have a conversation, or you can indicate consent through a gesture, a facial expression or a hand movement.”
However, the radio host was surprised that the law applied to married couples as well.
“By the letter of the law, this relates to everyone, even if you’ve been married to someone for 20, 30, 40 or 50 years,” he said.
Fordham added: “I know they’re trying to do the right thing. But when relationships go pear-shaped, sometimes people are prepared to go to extreme lengths to damage their former partner.”
NSW reports of sexual assault have surged in the past two years, with victims reporting incidents doubling in some areas, particularly in western Sydney and regional NSW, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
We can’t help but think that if the state government didn't do anything to reduce incidents of sexual assault, that would be ‘recipe for disaster’. Hmmmmm.
The state’s Attorney General said via a media release that the new law aims to set ‘clearer’ guidelines around consent while holding those legally accountable if they disregard boundaries.
“These laws set clearer boundaries for consensual sex, reinforce the basic principle of common decency that consent is a free choice involving mutual and ongoing communication, and reinforce that consent should not be presumed,” he said.
NSW's new affirmative consent laws follow Saxon Mullins, the lead advocate at Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy, campaigning for reform after her own sexual assault trial.
In 2015, Sydney man Luke Lazarus was initially found guilty of engaging in sexual intercourse with Ms Mullins without her consent, but later in an appeal, the judge found the man not guilty, according to Mamamia.
The Guardian reports that the retrial took place two years later, with judge Robyn Tupman favouring Mr Lazarus, concluding he had a ‘genuine belief’ to think the young woman consented.