Preventing sexual violence against young women from African backgrounds

Prof. Donna Chung, Prof. Colleen Fisher, Dr. Carole Zufferey & Dr. Ravi K Thiara
Australian Institute of Criminology
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice No. 540, June 2018

This study explored how young women from African refugee and migrant backgrounds understand and experience sexual coercion and violence.

Data was gathered from young women from African backgrounds and a wide range of agencies in two Australian states, Western Australia and South Australia, to better understand the extent of their awareness of and concern about sexual coercion and assault and document how agencies respond to these issues.

The paper concludes it is necessary to improve policy, practice, professional development and training to better respond to the sexual violence experienced by these young women, and raise awareness of the issue in their communities in a culturally sensitive way.

Melbourne’s first safe injecting room, clean, sterile and ‘will save lives’

ABC News, 29.6.18

Up to 300 people a day are expected to use Victoria’s first medically supervised drug injecting room when it opens in the coming days.

The Victorian Government committed to a two-year trial at the North Richmond Community Health Centre, after three separate coroners called for a supervised space.

Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said it would save lives.

Rally for decriminalisation of sex work in South Australia

SIN, 24/5/2018

June 2nd is International Sex Workers Day, which celebrates the birth of the sex worker rights movement, which originated in Lyon France, forty three years ago in 1975. On this day, sex workers staged a church ‘sit in’ to protest police brutality and the lack of police attention to crimes against sex workers. Soon community members joined sex workers and challenged the police to distinguish who is and who isn’t a sex worker, making it difficult for the police to make arrests.

This year, on June 1st, as part of International Sex Workers Day celebrations, Adelaide sex workers and their supporters, including other sex industry staff, health professionals, friends, family and clients of sex workers, will rally at 4 pm on the steps of Parliament House, with a message for the South Australian government, demanding the decriminalisation of sex work in South Australia.

The laws pertaining to sex work in South Australia are contained in the Summary Offences Amendment Act (1953) and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act (1935). “South Australian laws have not moved with the times and are putting sex workers at considerable risk of harm” said Sharon Jennings, manager of SIN.

 

Police, families not told of sexual assault reports by mental health patients [Report]

The Age, 29 March 2018

Sexual assault claims made by mental health patients are not being reported to police or even the alleged victims’ families in most cases, a scathing report has revealed.

Families are told of allegations in only a quarter of cases, while police reports are made only 40 per cent of the time, leaving alleged victims at risk of further abuse.

One in four people say those in same-sex relationships ‘should be charged as criminals’

The Guardian, 1st November 2017

More than one in four people across the world think people engaging in same-sex relationships should be charged as criminals, according to a new survey of 77 countries and territories.

However, there were major divisions in attitudes towards the criminalisation of those engaging in same-sex relationships when broken down across regions, the 2017 Ilga-Riwi global attitudes survey to sexual and gender minorities found.

Challenging misconceptions about sexual offending: report (Link fixed)

Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017

Reports of sexual offences crimes have increased over the last six years. Despite the prevalence of sexual offending in our communities, there is a lack of understanding about these crimes.

Myths and misconceptions about sexual offending are common. This is understandable, because sexual offending is a profoundly hidden crime. Much of what we know about sexual crime is imagined or gained through mainstream media

Most people would not be fully aware of the vast body of scientific literature regarding sexual offending. This is despite the fact that specialist knowledge is the key to effectively responding to sexual crime in the criminal justice system .

The purpose of this resource is to synthesise over 40 years of research evidence to present an accurate and updated picture of sexual offending. With specialist knowledge, we can work towards improving criminal justice responses
and outcomes in cases of sexual crime.

» This reference booklet addresses some of the most significant myths and misconceptions about adult rape and sexual offences, as well as child sexual abuse.
» The evidence has been collated from an analysis of the psychological and criminological literature.
» It provides a clear picture of what should be considered a misconception, alongside the current evidence of what is considered “typical” and “common” behaviour in both offenders and victims.
» There are multiple ways that this resource could be used. It may be useful as a guide to assist fact finders at different stages of the criminal justice process.