Reporting on sexual assault
The significance of sexual assault
The impact of sexual violence
Victim/survivors of sexual assault often experience profound and ongoing trauma as a result. According to South East CASA, some of the impacts of sexual assault on victim/survivors include:
- powerless and loss of control;
- disturbed sleep;
- fear; and
- low self-esteem, amongst many others.
Sexual violence is a serious issue
VicHealth has identified violence against women as the most significant risk factor for the health of women aged 15–45 years, costing the Australian community $8.1 billion per year (Access Economics, 2004).
Sexual assault is one of the most under reported offences
Many victim/survivors do not speak out about it because of fear and shame, among other reasons.
For further information on reporting of sexual assault see: No Longer Silent or Non-Reporting and Hidden Recording of Sexual Assault: An International Literature Review
Victim-blaming attitudes are still prevalent in Australian society
There is a lack of community understanding about the circumstances in which sexual assault occurs, and the impact it has on victims/survivors.
Sexual violence is preventable
As a community, we can take steps towards stopping sexual violence. Responsible and ethical media reporting is one way to help achieve this.