Should police be contacted when a victim is a child?

Morning Talk 13/03/2018

Allegations of sexual assault at a Young Labour camp have sparked questions about why police and parents weren't told about the claims.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her officials asked the victims whether they wanted to go to the police. She explained that the victims told Labour officials that they didn’t wish to contact the police, twice.

But she admitted that her officials “took too long” to handle the issue.

The AM Show co-host Amanda Gillies argued that the parents and the police should’ve been informed because the victims were, after all, schoolchildren.

“They’re not old enough to vote. They’re not old enough to drink. They are not old enough to serve our country,” Gillies said on Tuesday.

“They’re school children - they shouldn’t be making that decision. Their parents and the police should’ve been informed.”

Victim's wishes should be respected - victims advocate

Photo: File.

One expert says that the wishes of sexual assault victims are paramount, despite what parents wish.

Sexual assault survivor and victims advocate Louise Nicholas joined Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to discuss why victims’ wishes should be respected.

Ms Nicholas said that while parents will always want to know, if a 16-year-old didn’t want them to know, those wishes would have to be followed.

“It’s harsh, but at the end of the day we’ve kind of got to respect what the kids are wanting,” she told RadioLIVE.

But she admits that as a parent, she would “absolutely” want to know if the same had happened to her own daughter.

“It’s quite a grey area, Mark,” she said.

Ms Nicholas later clarified that parents should be notified for incidents involving children under the age of 15.

The wishes of children who are 16 and onwards should be respected, she explained. 

Listen to the full interview with Louise Nicholas above.

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