Sexual consent app proposal sparks backlash in Australia

Sexual consent app proposal sparks backlash in Australia
Police have proposed the idea of an app to mark mutual sexual consent. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Australians have derided a suggestion by the police commissioner of News South Wales (NSW) that an app could be used to register sexual consent.

Mick Fuller on Thursday championed the idea of an app where people could digitally record their mutual agreement to have sex.

The police commissioner said the technology could be used to establish “positive consent”.

But many people have criticised the idea as short-sighted and potentially open to abuse.

Concerns have also been raised about whether the app could be used for state surveillance.

In recent weeks, Australians have reignited a national discussion about sexual abuse, assault and harassment of women, and tens of thousands of people on Monday around the nation marched in protest.

In introducing the app idea on Thursday, NSW Police said it was aimed at normalising the act of seeking explicit consent.

Commissioner Mick Fuller told the Nine Network: “You may have a son or a brother and you think this is too challenging but this app… protects everybody.”

He said the need to prove sexual consent was a consistent problem in sexual assault court cases, and that an app’s record could help achieve better legal outcomes for victims.

Mr Fuller added that the idea had been raised with the NSW government.

He said less than 10% of the near 15,000 sexual assault cases reported to New South Wales police last year resulted in police charges

Mr Fuller wrote in Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph: “It needs to be positive consent. How do we do that in this day and age? One option is with technology.”

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