Tania Maxwell has accused the Victorian government of causing "concern, anxiety and stress" to families of murdered sexual assault victims by proposing legislation that could ban them from speaking out about the crime.
But in a win for victims' advocates, the "gag laws" failed to pass Parliament.
Wangaratta-based MP Ms Maxwell was moved to tears as she made an emotional speech in Parliament on Tuesday, where she revealed she was herself a survivor.
"As a victim of serious sexual assault, I will advocate for and with you until I draw my last breath," she said.
Opposition and crossbench MPs in the upper house defeated the government in a vote on Tuesday night night, allowing current laws to remain until victims can be consulted further.
The families of murdered sexual assault victims can currently get a suppression order from the courts if they want loved ones to stay anonymous, but the proposed changes would have forced them to grant permission to every media outlet wanting to tell their story.
Ms Maxwell told Parliament victims and their families told her this was a "serious flaw", saying it was important to "shatter the culture of silence around sexual violence" and the stigma.
"Not only does breaking the silence assist in the validation, it assists in the healing and support of victims," she said.
"It is difficult for me to agree with any approach that would make it harder for these stories to be told of victims of sexual homicide to be treated differently or reported differently to other homicide victims."
It is unknown if the laws would apply to previous cases, which include the 2015 indecent assault and murder of 11-year-old Wangaratta girl Zoe Buttigieg.
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In her speech to Parliament last month, Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said "further, more substantial reforms are required in this area", but proposed banning the publication of names without a court order until laws are reassessed in 2021.
Ms Maxwell said she agreed with other parts of the bill, which give more control to living victims wishing to tell their story and tighten laws on prison contraband, but had hoped that discussions with the Victorian Attorney-General's office may have resulted in changes to the controversial clause relating to deceased victims and their families.
"I ask you to maintain hope by continuing to advocate to the government and by continuing to work with the members within this Parliament who believe in your cause," she said.