Sex abuse victim wants tougher sentence for attacker
A SEX abuse survivor is fighting for a tougher sentence for her attacker after he was sentenced to serve just three months in prison.
The 34-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Hervey Bay District Court earlier this month, pleading guilty to two counts of indecent dealing with a child.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to be suspended after three months with an operational period of three years.
His victim, Jamie*, said she had waited 15 years for her abuser to be sentenced after he fled the state in the aftermath of being charged with his crimes.
The man sexually abused Jamie when she was just 13.
He had already served two months in pre-sentence custody before he was sentenced and could be out of jail in less than a week, Jamie said.
She has been in touch with the Department of Public Prosecutions to push for an appeal that could lead to a tougher sentence for the man who abused her.
It comes as the State Government announced it was pursuing landmark reforms in the state parliament this week in an effort to provide fairer and more effective responses to victims of child sexual abuse.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said the reforms sought to implement key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
"The sickening offence of child sexual abuse damages individuals and families, and has a ripple effect throughout communities," she said.
"We're committed to seeking justice for the victims of child sexual abuse and holding perpetrators to account.
"This legislation creates new offences for failing to report and failing to protect a child from institutional child sexual abuse, an extension of the offence of grooming, and reforms to sentencing, evidence law and jury directions."
Other reforms include facilitating increased admissibility of evidence of other allegations or convictions of child sex abuse against the accused person and ensuring that offenders are sentenced in keeping with contemporary sentencing standards.
It was also announced earlier this month that the Fraser Coast would be one of three trial sites in a $3.3 million program supporting victims of youth sexual violence.
Jamie said she felt the sentence handed down to her abuser fell well short of community expectations.
"The only positive about it is he's convicted," she said.
"That's the only thing I try to focus on.
"A conviction is a conviction."
A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said an appeal was unlikely.
"A review has concluded that there are no reasonable prospects of success on an appeal in the particular and unusual circumstances of this matter," they said.
"It is therefore not intended to recommend to the Attorney-General that an appeal be lodged."
*Name changed to protect victim's identity.