Vic teen rape victim wants court reform
A vulnerable teenage rape victim will meet Victoria's premier in a bid to make the court system less traumatic.
The family of a girl who was 14 when she was raped in Geelong in November 2015 wants the government to provide better support for child victims during trials.
The case against three alleged attackers was discontinued before they could face trial.
The teen's mother said her daughter feared the trauma of being cross-examined, after the distress caused by the public airing of some details.
"The media reported on extraordinary detail and that was harrowing. She was re-victimised to the point where she couldn't go to school," her mother told ABC radio on Tuesday.
The mother suggested such cases be heard by a panel of judges, instead of juries, to avoid unconscious prejudice and put the focus more on the law.
She said her daughter was concerned the system was stopping other victims from seeking justice.
"Her big thing is that there are other girls out there that have suffered rapes and sexual assaults that aren't coming forward," the mother told 3AW.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he and Attorney-General Martin Pakula would meet the family, possibly as soon as this week.
"If there are things we can change, if there are learnings that we can glean from the tragedy of this case, then we will make those changes," he told reporters.
Mr Pakula said child and sex offence victims can already give evidence by video link.
But they still have to be cross-examined and Mr Pakula said it would be hard to envision a system where a defendant could not test evidence.
He also was wary of the idea of more suppression orders.
"However as I say, I'd be more than happy to meet with the family and ascertain exactly what elements of the reporting of the reporting caused distress and see whether or not there are options for reform," he said.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy says the coalition would give "in principle" support to reforms.
© AAP 2017
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