‘Sex prescriptions’ may not be the answer but we must respect disabled people’s right to a sexual life

SBS, 19 Jan 2017 – 1:04PM

Sex for disabled people is an important aspect of their lives, as it is for most people. But there remains a taboo around sex and disabled people. Discrimination and marginalisation means disabled people often spend their lives denied the opportunity to explore their sexual identities.

Consequently, the Green Party in Germany recently proposed “sex prescriptions” for the disabled and the seriously ill, which would allow people to claim back the costs of paying for sex as they might do the cost of a medicine.

UK organisations such as the TLC Trust and SHADA helping to change the public’s perception of disabled people’s sexuality and to connect disabled people with sex workers who can help them.

Read more here 


Out of Character? Legal responses to intimate partner homicides by men in Victoria 2005–2014

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, 2016

Over a 10-year period (2002–2012) in Australia, 488 women were killed by an intimate partner or ex-partner. These homicides are the extreme end of a continuum of violence against women and children in families. Domestic and family violence (hereafter referred to as family violence) has become the focus of increasing communityconcern in Australia over recent years. There is a growing awareness of the scale, impact and costs associated with family violence.

Research and death reviews in Australia and internationally over the last two decades have highlighted that systemic failures in legal responses to family violence contribute to these deaths. Intimate partner homicides, whether perpetrated by men or women, generally occur in the context of men’s violence against the woman in the relationship.

Following a review by the Victorian Law Reform Commission, changes to homicide laws were enacted in Victoria in 2005. The reforms sought to reduce excuses for men’s violence against women and to better accommodate the experiences of primary victims who kill violent family members . Further reforms were made in 2014.
In 2010, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria  and Monash University
identified a shared interest in reviewing intimate partner homicides to examine whether the spirit of the reforms was being realised.
The first stage of the project examined cases of women who killed their intimate partners with a focus on whether, and to what extent, the reforms had improved the recognition of family violence and legal understandings of the circumstances in which women kill
in response to violence. The second stage of the project explores legal responses to men who have killed in the context of sexual intimacy since the implementation of the reforms in 2005.

This report outlines the findings of this second stage of the research.

Download report (PDF) here

HIV Criminal Cases: Media Guide

AFAO, Updated 2016

In Australia, each state/territory has different criminal laws under which someone can be charged with reckless, negligent or deliberate transmission of HIV to another person (generally for sexual transmission), or for exposing another person to HIV. Criminal cases in Australia involving HIV transmission or exposure are rare.

The quality of Australian media reports of criminal cases involving HIV transmission or exposure varies: on some occasions it has been accurate but on others media reports have been inaccurate  or overtly sensational.

The effect of sensationalised reporting that misrepresent the facts is that it can feed misconceptions regarding transmission and risk, dehumanise the people involved in the cases and demonise all people with HIV.

The Media Tool Kit as a whole contains the following topics:

  • Reporting on HIV prevention
  • Reporting on PrEP
  • Reporting HIV data
  • HIV cure research
  • HIV criminal cases
  • HIV exposure risk in the community
  • Reporting HIV: best practice tips +
  • Ethics and principles for HIV reporting
  • Background briefings
  • Media releases
  • HIV timeline

Read more here

HIV and sex workers

The Lancet, July 2014

The Lancet’s series on HIV & Sex Workers is available via open access. NB: these papers had a peer acting as sub-editor.

Executive Summary:

With heightened risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, sex workers face substantial barriers in accessing prevention, treatment, and care services, largely because of stigma, discrimination, and criminalisation in the societies in which they live. These social, legal, and economic injustices contribute to their high risk of acquiring HIV. Often driven underground by fear, sex workers encounter or face the direct risk of violence and abuse daily. Sex workers remain under-served by the global HIV response. This Series of seven papers aims to investigate the complex issues faced by sex workers worldwide, and calls for the decriminalisation of sex work, in the global effort to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Access the series of papers here

SA sexting laws unclear to teenagers, as courts see increase in underage sex cases

The law is struggling to keep up with teenagers having underage sex and using mobiles to send explicit photos to each other. Lawyers and judges in South Australia said they were seeing an increase in sexting and underage sex cases coming before the courts.

  • Read more here
  • Download app “The Naked Truth” here

Law Society of SA releases smartphone app detailing sexting and age of consent laws

A SMARTPHONE app detailing laws to do with sexting and the age of consent has been released in an effort to better educate people, particularly teenagers.