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How do we make the justice system better for victims? This report offers some solutions

The study is the first of its kind in 27 years, and includes a range of solutions to help improve the justice system for victim/survivors of sexual assault.

By Claudia Long, 14 August 2023, ABC News

Supportive, respectful responses from a consistent team of detectives, legal professionals and support workers are key to ensuring victims don’t have a negative and traumatising experience seeking justice, according to a new report being handed to NSW authorities on Monday.

It is the first wide-ranging study of sexual violence victims’ experiences with the NSW justice system in 27 years.

The study from RMIT and KPMG, commissioned by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), investigated what contributed to victim survivors of sexual assault having positive experiences versus negative experiences within the justice system to help establish what can be improved.

Lead researcher Elena Campbell, associate director of RMIT’s Centre for Innovative Justice, said her team’s report highlights how a strained system puts victim survivors through even more pain.

“The interview participants were all saying the same thing, that the system is pretty overwhelmed and that victims, survivors of sexual assault, are not put at the centre of the process.”

Read the full article here.


‘Not your case’: Sexual assault survivors speak of hope and hostility pursuing justice

By Perry Duffin, 14 August 2023, Sydney Morning Herald

Sexual assault survivors often feel doubt the moment they talk to police, and those who persist meet hostile interrogation in the courts. Now a government report exposes the barriers at each step, and the reasons cases are so often abandoned on the road to justice in NSW.

NSW police commanders, keen to move the dial on the history of sex crime prosecutions, say they must listen to survivors to reform, and the process has begun with their detectives.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, on Monday, will release a report that quotes 34 survivors about the NSW justice system, crucially, in their own words.

The report, carried out by RMIT, concludes sexual assault survivors face mixed results talking to police and “new trauma” in court.

One told researchers a police officer had asked what she had “learned” after reporting her sexual assault.

“He kind of talked about how I shouldn’t put myself in risky situations and that as a teenager, it is common to take part in risk-taking behaviour, because I was drinking underage,” she said.

Read full article here.

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Interview Study: Exploring justice system experiences of complainants in sexual offence matters

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