New laws forcing priests to report cases of sexual abuse have been welcomed by MP Tania Maxwell, who says it is secrecy that allows the "heinous" crimes to continue.
The Victorian Parliament on Tuesday night passed the legislation that removes the exemption for priests under the law and could lead to three years in jail for those who do not report suspected child sexual abuse crimes revealed to them during confession.
Wangaratta-based Ms Maxwell said she respected people's religions and beliefs, but the church was as accountable as other organisation to report sexual abuse.
"I believe that we should all stand in solidarity to protect children from abuse and ensure that we take a personal oath to speak up to prevent unspeakable acts being inflicted on our children," she said.
"We are all encouraged to speak up and say no to family violence. Why should this be any different?
"Our children do not have a voice to be able to protect themselves, and it is up to every one of us as adults to protect and support those children and to be their voice, to teach them to have a voice.
"But as we know, they cannot always protect themselves."
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Legislation stating the confessional seal must be lifted for suspected sexual abuse of children passed with support from the government and opposition.
The changes bring religious leaders into line with police, teachers, doctors, nurses, school counsellors and youth justice workers who are required to report child abuse to authorities.
It was recommended by 2017's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan thanked the sexual abuse survivors and advocates who helped make the reforms happen.
"We've made Victoria a safer place for children - the special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported," he said.
"We can't undo the harm to so many children in the past, but this will help ensure it never happens again."
The reforms also allow survivors of sexual and non-sexual institutional abuse to apply to the courts to overturn unfair historical compensation payments.