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Australian Institute of Family Studies (2017) Challenging misconceptions about sexual offending: Creating an evidence‑based resource for police and legal practitioners; Commonwealth of Australia
Reports of sexual offences crimes have increased over the last six years (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2016). Despite the prevalence of sexual offending in our communities, there is a lack of understanding about these crimes. Myths and misconceptions about sexual offending are common (Cossins, 2013). This is understandable, because sexual offending is a profoundly hidden crime. Much of what we know about sexual crime is imagined or gained through mainstream media (O’Hara, 2012). Most people would not be fully aware of the vast body of scientific literature regarding sexual offending. This is despite the fact that specialist knowledge is the key to effectively responding to sexual crime in the criminal justice system (Cossins, 2006). The purpose of this resource is to synthesise over 40 years of research evidence to present an accurate and updated picture of sexual offending. With specialist knowledge, we can work towards improving criminal justice responses and outcomes in cases of sexual crime.
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