Thursday 29th of July 2021

forget the french letter, use an app...


A proposal by one of Australia's top police officers to use phone apps to record sexual consent has been branded "naive".


Key points:
  • Reports of sexual assault rose by 10 per cent in NSW last year
  • The NSW Police Commissioner says the app would ensure consent is no longer implied
  • Denmark launched a similar app last month but it's only been downloaded 5,000 times


NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the country needed to modernise ideas around "positive consent" where consent is "active and ongoing throughout a sexual encounter".

"Intimate violence particularly against women is a real problem crime for us at the moment and we need to find a solution," he told ABC Radio Sydney today.

Commissioner Fuller acknowledged the app might be "the worst idea I have all year", but said COVID-19 had shown the importance of adopting technological solutions.

"If someone told me two years ago that we would have to sign in our phones every time we sat down at a restaurant, I would've laughed at them," he said.

"Whether the app floats or not, I think it's irrelevant... I think it's about understanding that this crime is on the increase … and we need to confront it whether that’s through technology or education and training or through other ideas."

According to recent figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, reported sexual assaults rose by 10 per cent in 2020 with a total of 15,000 women coming forward.

Only 2 per cent of those led to guilty verdicts in court.

Commissioner Fuller admitted there would be ways people with ill intentions could manipulate the app but said starting the conversation was critical.


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I thought the cartoon by Warren was really good... Having no idea if Warren's code worked, I have replaced it with the code...



flimsy certification...

A proposal by New South Wales’ top cop for a sexual consent check-in app has been panned as a “ghastly” idea that would make it harder to convict sexual assault perpetrators.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Thursday embarked on a media blitz to promote his idea, which he said would normalise conversations around consent and tackle the increasing rate of sexual assault.

Recent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data found 15,000 women came forward with sexual assault reports last year, a 10 per cent increase on 2019.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Fuller said the app would keep in step with how dating has changed in the digital age and modernise how Australians talked about “positive consent”.

“People say ‘how unromantic is that’. But think of how many people are looking for friendship and love online – it’s not as though technology and dating are foreign to us,” Mr Fuller said.

Tweet from @callapilla


Mr Fuller doubled down speaking to reporters in Sydney on Thursday, saying a consent app could “stop matters going into the justice system”.

“Should I be embarrassed about protecting the women of NSW? I say no,” Mr Fuller said.

“Men are victims of this as well. We should give people clarity … It’s about not putting people in the justice system because in NSW there is greater clarity around this.”

However, in a historic week defined by blazing calls at women’s marches for systemic change in approaches to gendered violence and calls for an independent inquiry into Attorney-General Christian Porter, Mr Fuller’s idea was widely regarded as missing the mark.

Critics were quick to point out the app ignores the fact that consent can be revoked at any time, it does not apply if an abuser coerces their victim into unwanted sexual acts after initial consent and that it would have no way of proving the absence of consent.

Writer Anna Spargo-Ryan said the app would exacerbate the problem of the police force disregarding victims, reducing the likelihood of cases going to trial and eventual convictions for rapists.


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