CRANAplus Applauds Changes to the Mandatory Reporting Laws
According to Taylor, congratulations must go to the Really Caring for Kids group many of whom worked on this almost full time since the original announcement and to the NT Government who were supported by some independent politicians who were prepared to listen and act in the best interests of our young people.
According to Taylor, the coalition was the key to finding a workable solution. ‘It was a very large group of organisations including the sexual assault unit, GP’s, congress, gynecologists, lawyers and CRANAplus, who worked and lobbied hard for this ill thought out legislation to be changed.’ Amendments will allow for the reintroduction of discretion for health professionals and other community members working in the NT, who are very aware of the need to report where abuse is suspected.
There is no doubt that mandatory reporting is non-negotiable for the under 14 group but for the young people of 15 and 16, this decision was having a major health impact. Young people, particularly in communities, were avoiding health care and the potential for unreported STI’s and pregnancies was huge.
Community members were starting to vote with their feet and there were threats of suicide from at least two young indigenous males already in arranged and consensual marriages at a young age.
Concessions that were made by the coalition included an awareness tool for health professionals so that certain information was gleaned from young sexually active people to rule out non-consensual sex, and an agreement on the need for extra training for professionals dealing with this age group.
Carole Taylor CEO
(08) 8959 1100