EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
How government and public policy messaging can be targeted to encourage disclosures and incident reporting from survivors of sexual assault
Sexual assault as a crime has significant implications for the survivor, their family and the greater community. Although there are common trauma reactions in response to an assault, survivors are unique in how they respond to the violence and the next steps they take. Many survivors face significant barriers to reporting sexual assault. These barriers include the fear of not being believed, self-blame, and lack of access to services. This project will contribute to transforming our community by identifying some of the barriers that make survivors reluctant to report sexual assault and addressing these through public messaging systems. Through these steps, survivors may be encouraged to come forward and speak more openly about their trauma experiences.
Our project aims to 1) identify the challenges faced by survivors of sexual assault with regard to reporting of incidents; and 2) use this information to suggest effective messaging strategies targeted at survivors to reduce barriers to disclosures.
Primary data will also be collected through interviews with sexual assault survivors recruited through the existing current client base at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sexual Assault Counselling Service. Primary data will also be collected through interviews with sexual assault clinicians from the Sydney Local Health District as well as other districts within NSW Health.