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Publication date: Wednesday, 27 May 2020
A new campaign developed by Legal Aid NSW has launched in NSW to Stop Public Threats of violence. Announced in May by Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman, Minister for Counter Terrorism, Anthony Roberts, and Acting Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans, Geoff Lee, the campaign sends a strong and clear message that threatening violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality is unacceptable.
The Stop Public Threats campaign features a new website, which hosts a podcast, information about the law, multi-lingual resources and links to support services. Videos will be boosted across social media. Legal Aid NSW will also be conducting training with community groups.
The campaign raises awareness that threatening or inciting violence against people because they belong to a particular group is a crime and carries tough penalties. It supports members of the community to understand the legal protections available and how to report incidents.
There have been alarming reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled racist abuse towards some members of the community. The Stop Public Threats campaign is timely to support a cohesive response to COVID-19 in NSW and to safeguard vulnerable members of the community to understand their legal rights.
Laws were strengthened in NSW to protect against public threats of violence with the introduction of section 93Z to the Crimes Act in 2018. Section 93Z provides for up to three years in prison for those publicly threatening or inciting violence to another on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, intersex status or HIV/AIDS status.
Discrimination and public threats of violence have no place in NSW and the new campaign reflects the legislation and community standards. It follows extensive consultation with religious leaders, community organisations and other government agencies and is supported by the NSW Police Force, Multicultural NSW, Anti-Discrimination NSW, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Department of Communities and Justice.
To read more about the laws and access campaign resources visit the website www.stoppublicthreats.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
You can also read the media release from Attorney General, Mark Speakman and download the factsheet ‘Education campaign launches to Stop Public Threats of violence’.