Media Release: Thursday, 5 April, 2007

The alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl and filming of the attack on a mobile phone may be part of a disturbing trend towards the filming of sexual assault to gain ‘kudos’, according to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), which said we need to take a comprehensive look at all the causes.

“Sexual assault is a blight on our society and should never be seen as anything but a shameful, criminal activity,” ACL managing director Jim Wallace said today.

“It is alarming to see that in a number of recently alleged incidents in Melbourne, the NSW North Coast, and now in Sydney, the accused have allegedly filmed the assaults for what appears to be bragging purposes.

“One has to ask the question about how much of this attitude is related to easy access to sexually explicit and extremely violent material packaged as acceptable entertainment. Is this leading to a sub-culture where real sexual assault is seen as a form of entertainment that can be filmed and circulated to friends?”

Mr Wallace said that there needs to be more controls on Internet access to pornography and tougher film classification standards to help counter this behaviour.

“Internet filtering of pornography at Internet Service Provider level is vitally needed.

It is currently being trialled in Tasmania but needs to be given a much higher priority.”

Mr Wallace said that the Office of Film and Literature Classification also needs to be making tougher classification decisions and that its guidelines need to be amended to get rid of loopholes which, for example, are sometimes allowing real sex to be shown in ‘R’ rated films.

Contact: Glynis Quinlan