Redfern Legal Centre has ed forces with law firm Slater and Gordon, calling on people to register their interest in a class actions against NSW Police concerning its use of invasive searches, including strip searches. InBecca was strip-searched at a music festival when she was 22 years old.
She has experienced lasting trauma as a result. In May, she bravely spoke publicly about her ordeal for the first time, launching RLC and Slater and Gordon's class action investigation into unlawful stop searches in NSW. Becca, a year old traveller on a working holiday visa, had been living in Australia for around 15 months when she attended the Lost Paradise festival on the Central Coast of NSW.
As Becca stood with her friends waiting to enter the festival, two NSW Police officers were walking up and down the line with a sniffer dog.
Woman's strip search described as `one-off'
As they walked past Becca, the dog sat down next to her. The officers told Becca they suspected she was carrying an illegal substance and asked her to consent to a search.
Becca was led into a police transit van to be searched. The windshield had been left uncovered and she could see three male police officers standing just outside. The female officer asked Becca to lift up her top.
The officer followed Becca's gaze around to the male officers outside and said, "Just do it quickly". The officer asked Becca if she was on her period, and when she said yes, told her: "We still have to do this.
Reports of illegal searches
Becca was then directed to drop, squat and cough. The female officer looked underneath her and peered at her tampon. My main concern was the male police officers being so close at the time.
There was no real privacy… It just felt very perverted, to be honest. I felt violated like I was just another body and not a human being," she said. After she left the van, Becca returned to her friends and began sobbing uncontrollably.
That night she coped with the trauma by drinking. If something like this has happened to you, register your interest in participating and share your story today: www. Strip searched at a festival: Becca's story. Becca's story Becca, a year old traveller on a working holiday visa, had been living in Australia for around 15 months when she attended the Lost Paradise festival on the Central Coast of NSW.