What is the justice system willing to offer? Understanding sexual assault victim/survivors' criminal justice needs

Author(s)Clark, Haley
Title What is the justice system willing to offer? Understanding sexual assault victim/survivors' criminal justice needs
Source Family Matters No85, 2010, p28-37.
Date 2010
Document type Research report
Coverage Australia
Summary In this study narratives were obtained from 22 victims of sexual assault in Victoria about their knowledge and experiences of justice and criminal justice system responses. Of the participants eight had no contact with the criminal justice system. Participants emphasised that justice was integral to criminal justice system responses, although the meaning of justice differed among participants and included official acknowledgement, safety and retribution. Clear information to assist in navigating the criminal justice system was another expressed need. Validation was also important and participants said that being believed by system officials was essential in criminal justice responses. There were variations expressed about the level of involvement they wanted with the criminal justice system. The author suggests that reforms are needed in addressing sexual assault and the criminal justice system, including innovative procedures to overcome the evidentiary burden and the need to involve sexual assault victims directly with the reform process.
Keywords Victims needs; sexual assault; victims rights; criminal justice system
Topic Victims needs; victims rights