A female cop is pushing to overhaul archaic consent laws amid a rise in rapes from dating app meetups.
New NSW Police child abuse and sex crimes squad boss Stacey Maloney said the state must change its definition of consent because only three per cent of rape cases are convicted.
Laws in Victoria and Tasmania protects victims of rape who freeze in fear, stating a person cannot consent to sex if they don’t say or do anything.
Consent is a grey area in NSW with 20-year-old laws stating a person has to be awake, conscious, and able to think clearly to agree to sex.
New Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad boss Stacey Maloney (pictured) believes the NSW consent laws need to change
But a person cannot be convicted of rape if they genuinely believed the victim was consenting because they didn’t say ‘no’, irrespective of whether they were too scared to speak.
Ms Maloney believes the murky definition is the reason behind why only 28 per cent of alleged rape victims in NSW come forward.
‘Consent shouldn’t be a confusing area, it should be quite clear that you need to ask for consent essentially. In terms of other jurisdictions, they certainly make that clear,’ she told 9 News.
The top cop also said there has been a rise in sexual assaults on dating apps.
‘Someone might swipe right, but that doesn’t mean they swipe left on consent,’ she said.
She told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘It doesn’t mean because you’re on the app that’s what you are up for.
‘You should still be asking for consent in any situation whether it be on an online dating app, if you’ve met someone at the pub or you’re going out on a date.’
The top cop also said there have been a rise in sexual assaults on dating apps (stock image of Tinder)
Ms Maloney wants to speak with the heads of dating apps, such as Tinder, to gain access to rapist’s contact information.
An alarming report by NSW Police came out in 2019 that revealed 20 per cent of sexual assault cases around Sydney stemmed from online dating.
The figure doesn’t capture unreported crimes or situations where the victim decided not to go ahead with an investigation.
Tinder previously told Daily Mail Australia they have been rolling out improvements to their app to enhance user safety – including a ‘photo verification’ feature to ensure users are who they say they are.
Of the incidents that were reported to state police in 2018 and 2019, only three per cent ended in a guilty conviction.
The NSW Attorney-General is considering how it will respond to findings of a Law Reform Commission report on consent laws, released last year.
Luke Lazarus (pictured) served 11 months’ jail before being granted a fresh trial after a successful appeal
The report came after the landmark ruling in 2017 where Luke Lazarus, accused of raping 18-year-old virgin Saxon Mullins at 4am in a Kings Cross alleyway in 2013, was acquitted.
Mr Lazarus admitted he and the woman had anal sex in the alley and that the woman was down on all fours.
The pair had gone outside Soho into Hourigan Lane within three minutes of meeting on the dance floor.
In two trials, the now 29-year-old pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent, saying the woman was encouraging and never told him to stop.
Lazarus told the District Court it was not the only time he had sex in the laneway behind Soho, or the first time he had sex with a woman minutes after they had met.
Ms Mullins said she was ordered to get ‘on all fours and arch her back’ against a wall behind the club
He insisted he had every reason to believe the teenager was happy to have sex with him and that her mood only changed when he asked her to add her name to a ‘trophy list’ in his phone.
The judge ruled that Lazarus had no reasonable basis for believing Ms Mullins had not consented, despite accepting that she had not consented in her mind.
Ms Maloney said high-profile cases where there is no conviction often deter victims from coming forward.
‘Those victims are really brave. If we don’t have victims coming forward we will see people out in our community who are committing serious offences,’ she said.