CRANAplus Applauds Changes to the Mandatory Reporting Laws

25 Aug 2009

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.

Con­tact:

Car­ole Tay­lor CEO
CRANAplus
(08) 8959 1100