HomeAustraliaSA could become the second Australian jurisdiction criminalizing theft

SA could become the second Australian jurisdiction criminalizing theft

It comes after the Australian Capital Territory became the first jurisdiction in the country to pass legislation banning the practice last week.

Image to read more article 'Demands crime of theft across Australia after ACT reform'

“If you asked me in January what theft is, I would have no idea at all,” she told parliament.

“And for those of you who aren’t sure yet, you could easily forgive that you don’t know what the term refers to – at least not by name.

“We have been advising on this Bill for much of the year and have spoken to a wide range of stakeholders – from public health experts to victims.

“Stealing is an abominable, terrible thing to do to anyone.”

The proposed legislation would modify current provisions under the Criminal Justice Act to explicitly state that a person’s consent is denied “if it is caused by the other person’s misrepresentation of the use of a condom”.

She said stealing is a “vulgar practice” that can cause serious damage to a person’s physical and mental health, including STIs, unwanted pregnancies and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Recent studies suggest that the practice is common. A 2018 study from Monash University and the Melbourne Sexual Health Center surveyed 2,000 people and found one in three women – and nearly one in five men who had sex with men – had experienced theft.

Under legislation introduced by Elizabeth Lee of Canberra Liberals, the ACT’s amended Crimes Act is now illegal to remove condoms during sex or not to use a condom at all when a condom use has previously been agreed.

Image to read more article 'The ACT has outlawed the' heinous 'theft'

There is debate in Australia as to whether theft is already included under existing sex crimes or requires specifically written into the law.

Following the law in the nation’s capital, women’s rights groups, forensic pathologists and lawyers who spoke to SBS News called for other jurisdictions to follow suit and introduce clear and consistent laws.

They said this will help strengthen those who have experienced theft to get ahead, and also educate the wider community.

Ms Bonaros said she hopes her proposed legislation will enable victims to move forward and send a strong message to the community.

“The very existence of this law will set a significant threshold – a clear line in the sand,” she said.

“If you cross the border, you’re committing a crime – a very serious crime.”

If you or someone you know is being sexually assaulted, call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In a crisis, call 000.




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