New initiatives to help victims of sexual violence

A new online guide and specialist training for court staff are among new initiatives funded by a $1.24 million boost to improve sexual violence victims’ experience in the justice system.

Ruth Fairhall, General Manager Courts and Justice Services Policy, says the additional funding will help victims and people who support them.

“Sexual violence has the lowest reporting rate of all offences,” says Ruth. “It’s important to alleviate victims’ concerns about the court process and not cause them any additional trauma.”

 “The justice sector has a lot of good information and good practice but it’s fragmented and spread across different agencies.

"New training for court staff, as well as new online guidance and information for victims and their supporters, will update everyone about best practice and make it easier to get information. We’ll be developing these resources with the input of specialists in the sexual violence sector.”

Crown Law has also received funding to develop training for prosecutors and guidance on prosecuting sexual violence cases, while the Institute of Judicial Studies has received funding for judicial education.

“These new initiatives will improve victims’ experience of the justice system and make the process less traumatic,” says Ruth.

The initiatives implement operational changes recommended in the Law Commission report “The Justice response to victims of sexual violence.”  The Government is continuing to consider other recommendations that require legislative change. 

The funding for the initiatives has been provided by the Justice Sector Fund.

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