Review of criminal justice responses to sexual offending
Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime (WA)
This submission outlines key principles that should underpin criminal justice processes in order to support victims and survivors of sexual violence. ANROWS also identifies potential practical actions and strategies for consideration.
ANROWS provided a submission to the review of criminal justice responses to sexual offending conducted by the Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime (the Office; WA). ANROWS’s submission drew on our evidence base to highlight the need for criminal justice processes to:
- be trauma informed
- challenge and reject victim-blaming attitudes, rape myths, and mistrust of women’s reports of sexual violence
- recognise and respond to the context in which sexual offences occur, in particular the use of coercive control in intimate partner violence (IPV).
ANROWS also directed the Office towards relevant practical actions and strategies, including opportunities to learn from other jurisdictions. The submission emphasises that the implementation of any actions or strategies must be tailored to the Western Australian policy and practice context, underpinned by meaningful engagement with people with lived expertise, and subject to ongoing evaluation.
The submission will be of interest to policymakers, practitioners and researchers working to improve victims’ and survivors’ experiences of contact with the criminal justice system. While the submission is tailored to Western Australia, the majority of the evidence is applicable across jurisdictions.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2023). Re: Review of criminal justice responses to sexual offending [Submission]. ANROWS.