campaign leads to major win for child sexual abuse survivors

Dominic Perrottet has announced the expansion of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program

On Wednesday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that the State Government would be investing $64.3 million in an expansion of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program (CSOEP). 

The expansion will see the program rolled out across the entirety of NSW from July 1st, and is set to go ahead regardless of whether the Perrottet Government is returned to power in the March 25th State election. 

The aim of the CSOEP is to reduce the trauma suffered by survivors of child sexual abuse whilst going through court processes. The program means that young people who are seeking justice will be able to to pre-record their evidence, and are provided with intermediaries to assist them during police interviews and hearings. As well as alleviating some of the stress involved with facing an alleged attacker in court, the changes also help reduce the length of proceedings.

The announcement from Perrottet comes after News Corp’s launched the Justice Shouldn’t Hurt campaign in November last year. The campaign included a petition – which was signed by upwards of 67,000 people – and told the story of Albury sisters Pippa Milthorpe, (17) and Rose Milthorpe (14). The sisters were sexually abused as children, and describe their experience in the NSW court system as “traumatic.”

I received a copy of the report that ran, and to hear about the trauma and the distress that Pippa and Rose went through, and the entire family, it clearly had a significant impact on them,” Perrottet said in an interview with the News Corp site.

“No parent, no child across our state should have to go through that experience, and to hear about the time, the distress, for both of them and their parents – it has to be done much better. It’s hard enough, let alone for the legal system to be making it worse.”

Dominic Perrottet meeting with Pippa and Rose Milthorpe. Source: Facebook

Speaking to Mediaweek about the State Government’s announcement, editor-in-chief Lisa Muxworthy said:

“After less than three months of campaigning, has achieved a huge win for child sexual abuse survivors in NSW.

This is a major victory for the children and families of NSW and we look forward to other jurisdictions following NSW’s lead on this important matter.

There has been a lot of work in the background to get this result, but ultimately the win is down to Rose and Pippa Milthorpe being so brave in telling their harrowing story. Of course we wouldn’t be here without Nina Funnell‘s incredible journalism, but this is also further proof of the power of the brand, our reach across the country and our ability to make people sit up and listen.”

Australia’s national sexual assault, domestic and family violence support service, 1800 RESPECT, is available 24/7 at or on 1800 737 732.

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