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29 January 2007

Be sensitive to rape victim, says Iemma

NSW Premier Morris Iemma has urged the makers of a film about the gang rape of a teenage girl in Sydney to be sensitive toward the victim's feelings.

The feature film Wrong Girl, about a gang rape in 2000 led by brothers Bilal and Mohammed Skaf, is currently in pre-production and may begin shooting as early as next month.

The rape was one in a series of attacks, in which four women were gang raped in three separate incidents, with the ringleader Bilal Skaf sentenced to 55 years jail.

The sentence was later reduced on appeal.

Wrong Girl will focus on the story of a Sydney teenager who was raped 25 times by 14 men over six hours in 2000, and will be directed by Michael Jenkins, best known for his true crime miniseries Blue Murder.

Wrong Girl so far has received $51,000 in federal and NSW government funding, with $21,000 coming from the NSW Film and Television Office, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Mr Iemma confirmed the State Government had provided a "small'' amount of funding for script development.

He said while he wondered whether anyone would want to see the film, he hoped the filmmakers would seek cooperation from the rape victims.

"I say in response to those proposing this film that they develop their script in cooperation with the victims and do so with sensitivity about what occurred to the victims,'' he said.

"I don't know why anyone would want to make a film about that subject, or why anyone would want to go and watch it.''

NSW opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher branded the film a "waste of money''.

"Money is being taken away from other areas and essential services,'' he said.

NSW Rape Crisis Centre manager Karen Willis said she feared the film could trigger feelings of trauma felt by sex assault victims, possibly making them reluctant to discuss their attacks.

"People will see it as absolutely horrific and so will be traumatised and appalled by it, so then will start saying 'I don't want to talk about sexual assault, I don't want to know about it, I don't want to hear about it' and that's not what we want,'' she told ABC radio.

"We want actually people to open up and debate and talk about causes, consequences and impacts and what we can do about it.''
POSTED BY/http://www.news.com.au

08:30 Posted in AUSTRALIA | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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