Responding to women's experiences of sexual assault in institutional and care settings

Responding to women's experiences of sexual assault in institutional and care settings

Haley Clark and Bianca Fileborn

ACSSA Wrap No. 10 — November 2011
Responding to women's experiences of sexual assault in institutional and care settings

This Wrap outlines key issues in institutional and care settings with identifying and responding to women’s recent and past experiences of sexual assault.1 In this paper, we draw together the common or shared elements of various institutions identified in the literature. We consider the historical socio-political context of women’s institutionalisation. Then we consider the prevalence of sexual assault, both current and historical, within various institutional settings and explore some of the barriers to disclosing and responding to sexual assault within these settings. Finally, we discuss the relevance of cultural and structural issues in responding to and addressing sexual assault within institutional settings.


1 We acknowledge that men in institutional settings may also be particularly vulnerable to sexual assault, that there may be some commonalities in experience and issues, and some learnings from this paper could apply to men. However, the focus of this paper is on women.

Authors and Acknowledgements

At the time of writing Haley Clark was a Senior Research Officer with the ACSSA. Bianca Fileborn was a Research Officer with ACSSA.

The authors would like to thank our two external reviewers for generously offering their time, expertise, and feedback.
We would also like to thank AIFS staff, particularly Elly Robinson, Daryl Higgins and Antonia Quadara, for their guidance and feedback throughout the production of this publication.

Publication details

ACSSA Wrap
No. 10
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, November 2011.
20 pp.
ISSN: 
1834-0148
ISBN: 
978-1-921414-56-5
Suggested citation:

Clark, H., & Fileborn, B. (2011). Responding to women’s experiences of sexual assault in institutional and care settings (ACSSA Wrap No. 10). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

AIFS news

Get the latest news about our publications, research and upcoming events.

Subscribe