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.

The ‘revolutionary’ programs giving hope to LGBT domestic violence survivors

Updated 

Studies show people in same-sex relationships experience domestic violence at similar — and possibly higher — rates as opposite-sex couples.

But until recently survivors have suffered in silence and worse, been ignored and misunderstood by the health professionals and police who are supposed to help them, because of the persistent stigma and shame surrounding LGBT abuse and misconceptions that especially lesbian couples are immune from it.

Recording of sexual assaults in Australia reaches eight-year high

Australian Bureau of Statistics, June 28th 2018

The number of sexual assault victims increased by 8 per cent across Australia from 2016, reaching an eight-year high in 2017, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics William Milne said that there were almost 25,000 victims of sexual assault recorded by police in 2017.

“This is the sixth consecutive annual increase in the number of victims recorded for this offence and the highest number recorded since the time series began in 2010,” he said.

More than four in five sexual assault victims were female (82 per cent or 20,556 victims).

Report: Gay and Transgender Prejudice Killings in NSW in the Late 20th Century

ACON, May 2018

Australia has a long history of violence towards people from sexual and gender minorities, stretching from colonisation to the present day. This Report looks at what has been a tragic and shameful episode in Sydney’s history.

ACON, in conjunction with key partners, has undertaken a review of the initial list of 88
homicide cases that occurred during the period t from the 1970s through to the 1990s.

The key findings from this review include:

1. Homicides occurred in three main spaces, with majority of victims being killed in their own homes, followed by beats, and other locations which mostly include gay and other social spaces.

2. In general, there was little or no pre-existing relationship between assailants and their victims.

3. Where killings happened in the victim’s house, the victim was more likely to be known to the assailant, albeit in a minor way, whereas there was generally no existing relationship between the victim and assailant where the killing occurred at the beat or gay social spaces.

4. Generally, spaces where people were murdered were private, secluded or isolated, which meant the assailant was less likely to be interrupted, and this impacted the victim’s ability to call out for help.

5. The scenarios in all the spaces were commonly sexualised, or where people could be disinhibited by the consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

6. Assailants employed a variety of killing methods and, in general, inflicted several forms of violence upon their victims. The type of attack and the weapons used varied according to the location where the killings was carried out, whether in the victim’s home, at a beat or in gay social areas.

7. There is evidence of serial killings by gangs of young men as well as lone assailants.

8. From available information, it appears groups of assailants tended to kill their victims at beats or social spaces whereas individual assailants killed their victims in private residences.

9. There is information to indicate homophobia was likely involved in approximately 50% of listed cases; however the two cases involving transgender women do not appear to have been motivated by transphobia.

10. Of the initial 88 cases on the original list, approximately 30 remain unsolved.

Queensland sex workers say current laws put their lives at risk

ABC Capricornia, 13/04/2018

Queensland sex workers say they face a dilemma — break the law to stay safe, or obey it and put their lives at risk.

Chrissie (whose last name is withheld) has been working as a fly-in, fly-out sex worker in regional Queensland for the past eight years and is one of many sex workers along with organisation Respect calling for a law change.

“I can’t think of any other occupation where you are prohibited from telling anyone where you are going for your own safety,” she said.

 

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.