Why do 4 in 10 Australians mistrust women’s reports of sexual assault?
ANROWS Notepad | 2 November 2021
NCAS RESEARCH PROGRAM
Understanding the conditions that create a climate of mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault
A new ANROWS study, published yesterday, has revealed that a woman must meet unrealistic expectations for her report of sexual assault to be believed, while the accused man’s actions to gain or confirm consent are rarely scrutinised.
The report “Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault combines the insights of 14 online focus groups with 40 men and 35 women, in which participants were asked questions about sexual consent and assault.
ANROWS Senior Research Officer and lead report author, Kate Minter, explained:
A participant’s call to “chuck her on a lie detector” was an extreme and confronting expression of mistrust, but it was emblematic of the study’s key findings and the concerning climate of mistrust in Australia. While women were not directly called liars, they were critically questioned, mistrusted and expected to prove the legitimacy of their reports with “real evidence”.
In the study, Kate and co-authors Dr Erin Carlisle and Dr Christine Coumarelos sought to understand why as many as four in 10 Australians mistrust women’s reports of sexual violence according to the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey. This is despite the fact that false allegations of sexual assault are extremely rare (one to 10 per cent) and nearly nine in ten (87%) women who experience sexual assault do not report it to the police.
ANROWS WEBINAR RECORDING
“Chuck her on a lie detector”: Investigating Australians’ mistrust in women’s reports of sexual assault
To coincide with the launch of the “Chuck her on a lie detector” report, ANROWS yesterday hosted a webinar that unpacked the findings of the report and their implications for policy and practice across response services, the criminal justice system, education and the broader community.
The session was facilitated by ANROWS CEO Padma Raman, and presenters included Kate Minter (Senior Research Officer, ANROWS, and an author of the report), Saxon Mullins (Director of Advocacy, Rape and Sexual Assault Research and Advocacy), Dr Emma Partridge (Manager, Policy and Evidence, Our Watch), Meena Singh (Senior Advisor, Human Rights Law Centre), and Heather Clarke (former manager of the Northern Centre against Sexual Assault, and current board member of the National Association of Services against Sexual Assault).
DID YOU KNOW
MEANINGFUL INCLUSION FOR LGBTQ AND INTERSEX PEOPLE
“Our Health Matters”: 2021 LGBTIQ Women’s Health Online Conference
The 2021 LGBTIQ Women’s Health Online Conference is taking place this Thursday, November 4. Under the theme of “Our Health Matters”, the conference brings together almost 30 speakers to cover topics including domestic and family violence, supporting LGBTIQ women with an intellectual disability, sex work, and inclusion in sport.
Importantly, the conference will also explore the idea of inclusion in a live panel discussion. As Australia works towards a consistent national definition of coercive control, it is crucial that this definition keeps LGBTQ and intersex people in view, particularly in light of the difficulty for police of identifying, without training, patterns of coercive control and how they manifest in queer relationships.
Research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, led by Monica Campo and Sarah Tayton, explains that an “LGBTIQ partner may use their partner’s sexuality or identity as a form of control by limiting their access to friends and social networks, or by threatening to tell their partner’s employer, parent, children, landlord or friends about their same-sex relationship or trans identity.” This idea was reinforced in ANROWS research, led by Rebecca Gray and colleagues in partnership with ACON, which pointed to unique tactics of abuse in LGBTQ relationships, including identity-based abuse that “capitalises upon a victim’s/survivor’s fear of exposure (‘outing’) or their experience(s) of discrimination and internalised homophobia to threaten, undermine or isolate them.”
ANROWS’s Register of Active Research (RAR) is one way in which we can further increase the visibility of research that focuses on LGBTQ and intersex people’s experiences of domestic and family violence and ways to prevent it. We particularly encourage researchers working in this space, with research currently underway relating to an Australian population, to register it with us.
You can also head over to the ANROWS Library and explore its collection of research and resources on the subject.
ANROWS 2022 CONFERENCE
Save the date!
Following on from the success of our 2021 National Research Conference to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, we are pleased to announce the dates for our 2022 conference.
“On the agenda: Evidence to inform contemporary policy priorities addressing violence against women”, taking place over four days from 22 to 25 February 2022, will enable stakeholders to celebrate the success of the existing evidence base and the value of partnerships and collaboration in producing, disseminating and applying this evidence; learn from the evidence base emerging from the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children; lead the national discussion towards new research priorities as set out in ANRA 2020–2022; and understand, and reflect on, how the evidence is being used to address policy priorities addressing violence against women, paying particular attention to the voices of people with lived expertise and from diverse backgrounds.
We will share more information as it becomes available – watch this space! In the meantime, please add the save the date to your calendar.
Understanding economic and financial abuse
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the economic insecurity experienced by women who are victims and survivors of DFV; the economic costs of DFV, both for women and at a societal level; and the scourge of financial and economic abuse.
Financial abuse is an underreported aspect of DFV. It can have devastating consequences for women, often lasting for decades.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) has partnered with the University of New South Wales Gendered Violence Research Network (GVRN) through its CommBank Next Chapter program to develop a research series exploring current knowledge of financial abuse in Australia.
This webinar, taking place on Monday 15 November and facilitated by ANROWS CEO Padma Raman PSM, will unpack the program’s research findings and build community, sector and industry understanding of this important issue.
Included on the panel are Professor Jan Breckenridge (Head of the School of Social Sciences and Co-Convenor of the Gendered Violence Research Network, UNSW), Dixie Link-Gordon (First National Women’s Legal Program, Women’s Legal Service NSW), Heidi La Paglia (Director of Policy and Programs, Women with Disabilities Australia), Juliana Nkrumah AM (Project Manager – Domestic & Family Violence, CEO of Settlement Services International), and Robert Fitzgerald AM (NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner).
The panel discussion will provide guidance for policy and practice across government, business and industry to respond to the prevalence of financial abuse within the context of DFV. There will be a live Q&A at the end of the session, and the webinar will be recorded.
Opportunities and events
WORK WITH ANROWS
Don’t miss your opportunity to join the ANROWS team – we are currently advertising three roles at our national head office in Sydney!
The Senior Research Officer (Research Program) will take a leadership role within the Knowledge Production team, working collaboratively with the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network to produce a variety of research outputs as well as working on the in-house “What Works” evidence synthesis project. Applications close at midnight on Sunday 7 November.
The Project Officer (Research Program) will work across the Knowledge Production and Evidence to Action teams, supporting the implementation of ANROWS’s Sexual Harassment Research Program and contributing to ANROWS’s knowledge translation and exchange activities. Applications close at midnight on Monday 15 November.
Finally, the Senior Project Officer (Evidence to Action) will assist the Director, Evidence to Action in ANROWS’s knowledge translation and dissemination activities and will provide expert advice, analysis and critical assessment of research on violence against women. Applications for this position close at midnight on Sunday 14 November.
More information on all three roles is available on our Careers page.
ADOLESCENT VIOLENCE IN THE HOME
Learn more about adolescent violence in the home (AVITH) at an upcoming Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare webinar, “AVITH in context”. At this online event you will hear Elena Campbell, Associate Director at Innovate Justice, speak about her ANROWS-funded research, “WRAP around families experiencing adolescent violence in the home (AVITH): Towards a collaborative service response”. The webinar will take place on Friday 5 November at 12.30pm.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Flinders University is currently conducting research about what services can do to better help young people with disability when they experience family violence. The project is about improving systems to respond to children and young people’s priorities, and the research team is keen to hear from young people with disability, as well as their family members.
If you work in the disability sector and know of young people with disability and their family members who might be interested in sharing their thoughts with the research team, please put them in touch with Sally Robinson at Flinders University.
BUILDING A FRAMEWORK TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO YOUNG PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY WHO ARE VIOLENT AT HOME: CALL FOR INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS
There are lifelong consequences of decisions made about young people with disability who behave in ways that make other people in their family feel afraid. Yet the lack of a common understanding about how and why these challenges arise can result in responses that may cause further harm.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney are undertaking this ANROWS-funded project to build a better picture of the individual, relationship and community contexts and sociocultural factors relevant for understanding young people with disability who are violent at home. The research will include the lived experiences communicated by young people with disability and their family members.
We are also speaking to stakeholders, including practitioners, advocates and service providers working within disability and youth advocacy and adolescent family violence prevention and response services. If you work with or are involved in supporting young people with disability who are violent at home and you would like to participate in an interview or would like more information about the project, please contact Dr Mediya Rangi at email@example.com
New research and resources
Evans, B., & Robertson, P. (2021). Supervision resource guide: Supervising men’s domestic violence perpetrator intervention group programs. BDVS – Micah Projects. https://bdvs.org.au/assets/docs/20210915_Supervision-Resource-Guide-Final.pdf
Gender Equity Victoria. (2021). Left behind: Migrant and Refugee Women’s Experience of COVID-19. https://www.genvic.org.au/focus-areas/genderequalhealth/left-behind-migrant-and-refugee-womens-experiences-of-covid-19/
Books and reports
Kim, M.-T. (2021). The impact of the ‘What’s Your Plan?’ program on ADVO breaches and domestic violence (Crime and Justice Bulletin, No. CJB242). BOCSAR. https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_publication/Pub_Summary/CJB/CJB242-PageSummary-Whats-Your-Plan-ADVO.aspx
Gore, A. (2021). Gender, homicide, and the politics of responsibility: Fatal relationships (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003125907
McArthur, M., Suomi, A., & Kendall, B. (2021). Review of the service system and implementation requirements for raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the Australian Capital Territory. Justice and Community Safety Directorate (ACT). https://justice.act.gov.au/safer-communities/raising-age
Afrouz, R. (2021). The nature, patterns and consequences of technology-facilitated domestic abuse: A scoping review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211046752
Baum, A., Valpied, J., Kuruppu, J., & Hegarty, K. (2021). Intimate partner violence education in Australian medical schools: Has anything changed? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13160
Clements, K. A. V., Sprecher, M., Modica, S., Terrones, M., Gregory, K., & Sullivan, C. M. (2021). The use of children as a tactic of intimate partner violence and its relationship to survivors’ mental health. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-021-00330-0
Fogarty, A., Savopoulos, P., Seymour, M., Cox, A., Williams, K., Petrie, S., Herman, S., Toone, E., Schroeder, K., & Giallo, R. (2021). Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings. Child Abuse & Neglect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105365
Gatfield, E., O’Leary, P., Meyer, S., & Baird, K. (2021). A multitheoretical perspective for addressing domestic and family violence: Supporting fathers to parent without harm. Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1177/14680173211028562
Hamidi, N., Vaughan, C., & Bohren, M. A. (2021). “My father told me ‘child, there is no son in this house, so you should wear these boy clothes’”: Perspectives on gender norms, roles, and bacha posh among Afghan migrant women in Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Migration and Health, 4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmh.2021.100064
Mah, B. L., Brown, A., Eades, S., Pringle, K. G., Committee, the Gomeroi gaaynggal Advisory, & Rae, K. M. (2021). Psychological distress, stressful life events and social disadvantage in pregnant Indigenous Australian women residing in rural and remote NSW: A longitudinal cohort study. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01159-5
Mandara, M., Wendt, S., McLaren, H., Jones, M., Dunk-West, P., & Seymour, K. (2021). First contact social work: Responding to domestic and family violence. Australian Social Work, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2021.1977969
Massi, L., Hickey, S., Maidment, S.-J., Roe, Y., Kildea, S., Nelson, C., & Kruske, S. (2021). Improving interagency service integration of the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program for First Nations women and babies: A qualitative study. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20(1), 212. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01519-x
Orr, C., O’Donnell, M., Fisher, C., Bell, M., Glauert, R., & Preen, D. (2021). School readiness of children exposed to family and domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605211050099
Pokharel, B., Yelland, J., Hooker, L., & Taft, A. (2021). A systematic review of culturally competent family violence responses to women in primary care. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380211046968
Walklate, S., Godfrey, B., & Richardson, J. C. (2021). Responding to domestic abuse – Policing innovations during the Covid-19 pandemic. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin (Special Conference Edition Nr. 5). https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/476
Wilson, M., Spike, E., Karystianis, G., & Butler, T. (2021). Nonfatal strangulation during domestic violence events in New South Wales: Prevalence and characteristics using text mining study of police narratives. Violence Against Women. https://doi.org/10.1177/10778012211025993
In the media
10 things Australia can do to prevent violence against women and children—The Conversation
Domestic and family violence resource open to NSW lawyers—Lawyers Weekly
Experiences of sexual assault shared in NSW parliament as consent education push grows—SBS News
New Tasmanian legal abuse support service for women on temporary visas in high demand—ABC News
NSW women experiencing reproductive abuse—The Illawarra Mercury
Sexual assault survivors hope NSW consent laws will inspire nationwide reform—SBS News
Workplace sexual harassment victims admit having PTSD—Human Resources Director Magazine
Contribute to Notepad
If you have publications, resources, opportunities or events to promote, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preferred format is a very brief outline (maximum 4 lines) and a link to further information.