EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Achieving justice in response to street and public harassment: Developing victim-centred perspectives
This project aims to develop victim-centred conceptualisations of justice in response to street harassment by undertaking in-depth interviews and an innovative online mapping exercise with street harassment victims, and interviews with key stakeholders. This project seeks to generate new knowledge in relation to victims' experiences and the impacts of street harassment in Australia, and to develop new conceptualisations of victim-centred justice as it applies to a unique form of sexualised harm. It is anticipated that this project will deliver vital insights into what street harassment victims require in order to achieve justice, and provide an evidence base to inform the development of formal and informal justice responses.
This project aims to:
- develop detailed and nuanced insights into lived experiences and impacts of street harassment within an Australian context
- generate victim-centred theoretical and conceptual understandings of "justice" related to street harassment
- build an evidence-base to inform the development of effective prevention efforts and justice responses (both formal and informal) to street harassment within Australia and internationally.
This project involves three phases:
- Phase 1 (complete) aimed to map current policy and activist responses to street harassment across Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Phase 2 (complete) involved one-on-one interviews with people who have experienced street harassment in Victoria and New South Wales. Interviews focused on participants' experiences and their impacts, and their understandings of justice and perspectives on how justice might be achieved in response to street harassment. Participants also completed a Google map documenting their experiences of harassment.
- Phase 3 (currently underway) involves interviews with key stakeholders who may have a role to play in the implementation of responses to street harassment.
SignificanceStreet harassment is common, harmful and poorly responded to in current sexual violence and criminal justice policy, practice and prevention efforts. Research that examines and informs strategies to respond to street harassment from a victim-centred perspective is urgently needed. This project will:
- Advance knowledge through the development of victim-centred understandings of justice and preferred justice responses to street harassment. This project cultivates public discussion and policy responses to sexual violence by driving an informed, nuanced and evidence-based approach.
- Drive understandings of how street harassment may be effectively prevented and responded to in order to meet the justice interests of those who experience it. Importantly, the use of an intersectional lens promotes the identification and development of responses that encompass diverse justice interests, rather than a "one size fits all" approach.
Findings will provide insight into the potential feasibility of different justice responses to street harassment via the perceptions of key stakeholders and victims. This can inform the development of effective and innovative justice mechanisms for victims who are currently denied access to justice. The project responds to an increasingly pressing global phenomenon by providing a sound evidence base to underpin decision-making.