Steve has shared for the last 20 years his experience navigating the complex and confusing system that is currently in place when a survivor decides to disclose to police, institutions or family.
Beyond Abuse maintains associations with colleagues in other states, including Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT.
In Tasmania laws (s194k Evidence Act 2001) improperly prevented victim / survivors who wanted to be identified publicly, from being able to do so, for example when speaking with media. Victim / survivors were required to apply for a Court Order which could be expensive and stressful.
In 2004 Steve Fisher was the first person in Tasmania to be afforded a court order to be named in the media as a survivor of sexual abuse and to talk about his abuser as it was deemed to be “in the public interest”.
In 2020 Beyond Abuse partnered with other advocacy groups to change this law. Through our partnership with other advocates, this law has now been amended to allow victim /survivors who want to be identified to be able to do so.
Victim / survivors who do not wish to be identified publicly still enjoy privacy protections by simply not consenting to identification.
Beyond Abuse has supported implementation of recommendations of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (criminal justice reforms and civil litigation reforms).
Since the Royal Commission, Beyond Abuse has worked with Governments across Australia to pass ground breaking new legislation allowing survivors who were trapped in past unjust settlements (due to misconduct of institutions) to have access to justice equal to a survivor bringing an action today. As well, we have advocated to ensure the laws apply equally to sexual and physical abuse.
With the Australian Capital Territory soon to introduce legislation this will be now be law across Australia in every state and territory: Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and South Australia.
This means victim/survivors are now able to litigate against the institutions that were responsible for their abuse as they can have their Deeds of Release overturned by a court if necessary.