Australia is having a long overdue discussion about sexual assault.
On Thursday The Daily Telegraph published an opinion piece by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, who wrote that "despite the best efforts of police, government and society, last year we received more than 15,000 reports of sexual assault. But men continue to get away with it — less than two per cent of reports lead to guilty verdicts in court."
Women and violence: The hidden numbers. Post continues after video.
Fuller noted that the challenges with consent being coerced or implied will only be fixed once we reshape the attitudes of men and the broader community, but in the meantime he's looking for more short-term solutions. That's his job after all.
"We need a discussion about innovative solutions and how we can gauge positive consent. Consent must be active and ongoing throughout a sexual encounter. Just as we’ve had to check-in at the coffee shop to keep people safe, is there a way consent can be confirmed or documented?" he wrote.
"People might think that sounds ridiculous but the idea we couldn’t dance at weddings, stand in a pub or cross a state border also sounded ridiculous until the cost of inaction was considered," he continued.
"You can’t walk into a shop at the moment without scanning in. Two years ago I would have said ‘You’re mad, I’m not doing that.’ Do we protect people dating by having a positive affirmation...in an app?"
The backlash came in thick and fast.