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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AIHW, 2020, Sexual Assault in Australia, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Canberra. https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2020-08/apo-nid307932.pdf
Bigby, C, Webber, R, Bowers, B & McKenzie-Green, B, 2008, A survey of people with intellectual disabilities living in residential aged care facilities in Victoria.
Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health, 2021, Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability in Australia: Research Report for the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability. March, Research Report – Nature and extent of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation against people with disability in Australia | Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
Cooke, L. B. & Sinason, V., 1998, Abuse of People with Learning Disabilities and other Vulnerable Adults, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, vol. 4, pp. 119-125.
Davis, L A, People with Mental Retardation and Sexual Abuse. Available at:
Davis, A, D., 2005; People with Intellectual Disabilities and Sexual Violence; The Arc,
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPOA) Violence, Abuse, Exploitation and Neglect Against People with Disability in Australia – Available Data as at March 2019. Compiled by Carolyn Frohmader. Available at: https://dpoa.org.au/violence-abuse-exploitation-neglect-people-disability-australia-available-data-march-2019/violence-against-people-with-disability_dpoa_march-2019/
Goodfellow, J & Camilleri, M, 2003, Beyond Belief, Beyond Justice; The difficulties for victim/survivors with disability when reporting sexual assault and seeking justice, Disability Discrimination Legal Service, Available at: http://www.wwda.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12//beyondbelief1.pdf
Eastgate, G., Scheemeyer, E., van Driel, M. L. & Lennox, N., 2012; Intellectual Disability, Sexual Abuse and Sexual Abuse Prevention – A study of family members and support workers, Australian Family Physician, Vol. 41, No.3, http://www.racgp.org.au/download/documents/AFP/2012/March/201203eastgate.pdf.
Enable Scotland, Unlocking sexual abuse and learning disabilities. Supporting adults with learning disabilities who have been sexually abused: A guide for family carers and support staff. Enable Scotland, http://www.bava.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/enable_abusebooklet_handbook.pdf.
Heenan, M 2004, Just ‘keeping the peace’, A reluctance to respond to male partner sexual violence’; Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Issues No. 1.
Kaufman, M. 2008, Clinical report: Care of the Adolescent Sexual Assault Victim. American Academy of Pediatrics (112)2. Pp 462-470.
Mathews, BP 2004, Queensland Government Actions to Compensate Survivors of Institutional Abuse: a Critical and Comparative Evaluation, Available at: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6422/2/6422.pdf
Murray, S & Powell, A 2008; Sexual assault and adults with a disability: enabling recognition, disclosure and a just response; Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Issues No. 9, http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/pubs/issue/i9.html
Nixon, M., Thomas, S. D. M., Daffern, M., & Ogloff, J.R.P. (2017) Estimating the risk of crime and victimisation in people with intellectual disability: a data-linkage study; in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, May 2017, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 617–626; https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-017-1371-3
North Side Connect Inc. Podcast – ‘The Injustice of Intimacy’
Based in north Brisbane, they provide services such as legal advice, domestic violence support, practical relief from life stressors as well as a safe place to connect and reinforce the sense of community.
Series 1: Intimate Partner Sexual Violence (IPSV)-
Series 2: Coercive Control
In this podcast women share their stories about recognising and getting help for Intimate Partner Sexual Violence (IPSV) and Coercive Control. Be aware that they are speaking about sexual violence and domestic violence, so if you plan to use these podcasts with clients they may be triggering for them and cause distress. It is best to listen to them first before recommending them to others. To listen please go to: The Injustice of Intimacy (buzzsprout.com)
Our Watch, & Women with Disabilities Victoria.(2022). Prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities: Background paper. Melbourne, Australia: Our Watch; https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2022-02/apo-nid316316_2.pdf
Plummer, S., & Findlay, P. (2011) Women With Disabilities’ Experience With Physical and Sexual Abuse: Review of the Literature and Implications for the Field in Trauma, Violence and Abuse, Vol.13; Issue 1;15–29. Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838011426014
Sequieria, H & Hollins, S 2003, Clinical Effects of Sexual Abuse on People with Learning Disability: Critical Literature Review, British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, pp.13-19.
Sherry, M 2003, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or Respond: Silent Acceptance of Disability Hate Crimes, Available at: http://wwda.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/marksherry2.pdf