ft. Bri Lee
A lot has changed within Australian consent law in the last 12 months. In June NSW enacted affirmative consent laws that require people to give and obtain consent before sex. Victoria followed suit a few months later. After a disheartening 2021 that was awash with allegations of sexism and sexual violence within our political and legal systems, the newly implemented laws felt deeply consequential.
When these new laws were introduced, it represented years of hard work and huge feelings of relief for many Australians. While these laws will undoubtedly be important for survivors, can we expect them to prevent, or reduce, rates of sexual assault? How do we reduce incidences of sexual violence from happening in the first place? And can law be responsible for this?
To unpack these questions, Caroline spoke with Bri Lee. Bri is an investigative journalist, cultural critic, and author of three books including Eggshell Skull, a memoir chronicling her time working as a judge’s associate while pursuing her own sexual assault case. She is currently completing PhD in law at the University of Sydney where she lectures in media law. Bri has been a vocal advocate for improvements to consent law and sexual violence law, particularly in Queensland.
While consent law is unquestionably necessary, and a huge step forward, Bri and Caroline discuss whether legislation alone can genuinely curb rates of sexual violence.
Learn more about Bri's work here.
You can find her book, Eggshell Skull here.