The Victorian government says it's willing to revisit laws requiring sexual assault survivors to ask courts for permission to speak publicly about their experiences.
Victoria's Attorney-General Jill Hennessy says the changes had been designed to make it easier for survivors.
NEED HELP? PHONE THE BALLARAT CENTRE AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT ON 1800 806 292
But she has now asked the justice department to look at whether additional tweaks are needed following concerns raised by survivors and advocacy groups.
"I acknowledge the strength and resilience of victims who come forward and tell their stories - it is an incredibly brave and difficult thing to do," the minister said in a statement on Wednesday.
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Changes to open courts laws enacted in February meant family violence and sexual assault survivors wanting to speak publicly about their experiences needed to ask a court to lift a ban on publishing information that could reveal their identity.
This would have been particularly relevant for many Ballarat survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church, who have bravely shared their personal stories over the years.
Under the new laws, survivors would no longer be able to be identified when speaking out.
Ms Hennessy said the changes were brought in because survivors previously didn't have a clear way to navigate court bans designed to protect their identities.
"I remain concerned about the barriers, both cultural and legal, that continue to exist for victims of sexual assault," the minister said, pointing to the Victorian Law Reform Commission's review of laws relating to sexual assault.
- with AAP
Affected by this story? There is help available.
You can phone the Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault, in Sebastopol, on 5320 3933, or free-call the crisis care line 24 hours on 1800 806 292. Or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380, or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
- Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467
- Mensline: 1300 789 978 or mensline.org.au
- Survivors of Suicide: 0449 913 535
- headspace Ballarat (for 12-25s and parent support): 5304 4777
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Soldier On: 1300 620 380
- Ballarat Community Health: 5338 4500
- QLife: 1800 184 527 (Support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people)
- Family violence: 1800 RESPECT
- Veterans support: Open Arms on 1800 011 046 or openarms.gov.au
- Ballarat Mental Health Services: 5320 4100 or after hours on 1300 247 647
- Aboriginal crisis support: Yarning SafeNStrong, 1800 959 563 (noon to 10pm)
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