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Io sexual assault, intervention orders & fs meetings

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Io sexual assault, intervention orders & fs meetings

  1. 1. Sexual Assault, Intervention Orders and the Family Safety Framework Sharon LockwoodSocial Work Coordinator Yarrow Place © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  2. 2. OHT# 2Partner RapeKnow About it,Respond Effectively,Prevent itProduced by Women’sHealth Goulburn NorthEast, Victoriawww.whealth.com.au © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  3. 3. OHT# 3 Global Violence Violence is a leading cause of deathamong people aged 15-29Source: World Health OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention The death and disability caused by violence make it one of the leadingpublic health issues of our timeSOURCE: World Health Organization, 2006 © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  4. 4. OHT# 4 VIC HEALTH STUDY• The cumulative effects of intimate partner violence (of which sexual assault is a part) make it the leading risk factor contributing to death, disability, and illness for women between the ages of 15 and 44, outweighing smoking, obesity, alcohol and drug use (VicHealth, 2004)• Death, physical injuries and adverse impacts on reproductive health, mental health and general wellbeing all contribute the burden of disease from intimate partner violence• Poor mental health account for almost two-thirds (60%) of this burden of disease (VicHealth, 2004). © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  5. 5. OHT# 5Gender and Trauma• Men – more likely to be harmed by enemies or strangers (e.g. in combat, as a victim of crime)• Women – at greater risk of interpersonal violence than men, and usually at the hands of a partner/lover• It is more confusing and distressing to be harmed by people who are supposed to love and care for you than it is to be harmed by a stranger or someone who dislikes/hates you(Kendall–Tackett 2005; Covington 2003,1999) © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  6. 6. OHT# 6 Rape in Marriage Criminalisation in Australia• South Australias 1976 criminalisation of rape in marriage followed the recommendations of a law reform committee headed by judge Roma Mitchell• Similar legislation was enacted in Western Australia in 1976, in Victoria and NSW in 1981, in the ACT in 1985, Tasmania in 1987, Queensland 1989 and the Northern Territory in 1994 © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  7. 7. Intimate Partner OHT# 7 Sexual Violence• Rapes are more likely to be completed and repeated in IPSV than in cases of stranger or acquaintance rape• Several studies have identified a pattern of abusive men demanding or forcing sex following physical violence• In one study 50% of women in the sample reported being threatened with physical abuse for refusing to engage in sex and 36.7% experienced actual beatings for refusing• Women are more vulnerable to being sexually assaulted and sometimes killed by ex-partners at or after separation• Women are at risk of sexual assault at times of shared child care arrangements post separation• Women who experienced intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) were 5.3 times more likely to report threatening or attempting suicide compared with women who experienced intimate partner physical abuse only © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  8. 8. OHT# 8 Should we be asking about sexual violence in family violence cases?Studies have identified sexual abuseby a male intimate partner as a riskfactor for the homicide of either avictim or perpetrator of domesticviolence, and for victim suicide.• Research shows that sexuallyabusive behaviour by a partner islikely to be violent and repeated, andthat it forms part of a controllingpattern of behaviour• Despite considerable evidencearound the lethal implications ofsexual abuse by a partner, thisbehaviour tends to be unreported bywomen, denied or minimised byabusive men, and avoided by workersand the criminal justice system.PREVENTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATH - IS SEXUAL ASSAULT A RISK FACTOR? Dr Rochelle Braaf, 2010 © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  9. 9. OHT# 9 Should we be asking aboutsexual violence in family violence cases?Certain forms of domestic violenceperpetrator behaviour mayindicate a higher level of lethalrisk; for example, when:• abusers commence sexual abuse• sexual abuse is coupled with physical violence• abusers escalate in either or both the severity and frequency of the abuse• abusers perpetrate sexual abuse post separation• the sexual abuse occurs alongside other lethal risk factors, like strangulation, use of weapons or hostage taking PREVENTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATH – IS SEXUAL ASSAULT A RISK FACTOR? Dr Rochelle Braaf, 2010 © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  10. 10. OHT# 10 Questions re sexual violenceDo you feel confident asking clientsquestions relating to sexualviolence?Should questions about sexualviolence be a routine part ofhistory taking/client assessment?Does your work context makeservice users aware that you arewilling to discuss issues such assexual violence? How? © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  11. 11. OHT# 11Sexual Autonomy• Free and voluntary agreement to sex• Right to this protected by law, consent is the legal test of a breach of this• Freedom and opportunity to abstain from sex• Marriage/committed relationship does not equal perpetual agreement to sex• Consent is not the default position• Previous agreement /participation is irrelevant• Don’t have to say ‘no’• Doing or saying nothing does not indicate agreement• Absence of verbal protest, physical resistance or physical injuries does not indicate agreement © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  12. 12. OHT# 12Possible questionsFraming questionsIt’s quite common for people to haveexperienced unwanted sexual contact so youmay wish to consider routinely ask peopleabout this. Some may be too afraid oruncomfortable to bring it up themselves, soasking it routinely may be helpful.Possible questions:•Have you ever had sex you didn’t want oragree to?•Have you ever felt frightened of refusing sexwith your partner?•Have you ever felt that you didn’t have achoice about sex?•Do you ever feel like you have to do sexualthings because you are too scared to say no? © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  13. 13. OHT# 13Yarrow Place, IO & FSF Benefits and Complexities © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  14. 14. OHT# 14• Useful to have IO as another legal option to offer victims• In DV cases we most often refer to FSF meetings following a crisis response for a recent sexual assault (clients already known to FSF agencies), clients decline use of YP counselling services but may not disclose this to the other FSF agencies• Often women choose not to seek sexual assault counselling © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  15. 15. OHT# 15• Most often refer to FSF in situations involving ongoing child sexual abuse where the victim is now an adult and there are concerns re the risk of lethality (suicide and /or homicide) of ongoing abuse• Usually client engaged for counselling and client not known to FSF agencies• Ethical concern of referral for counsellors due to therapeutic relationship, philosophical positioning of service and protected communication status of sexual assault counselling files © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  16. 16. OHT# 16• Benefit of FSF referral option in these circumstances re worker well being – worker can feel less isolated in managing the client’s situation, thereby reducing risk of VT• By referring to FSF and including other services, additional information can be revealed, such as the need for mental health service engagement as a more appropriate service option © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  17. 17. OHT# 17Limitations of the FSF ToolFSF assessment tool – tworeferences to sexualviolence:• Offender is terrorising and/or sadistic sexual abuse including humiliation/forced sexWording of the questioncould be more simplified• Offender has prior arrest for murder/manslaughter/ rape or sexual assaultMost sexual assaults have alow reporting rate and highattrition rate © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  18. 18. OHT# 18 YARROW PLACEThe lead public healthagency in South Australiaresponding to adult rapeand sexual assault,providing – Medical and counselling services – Advocacy – Training and consultation regarding responding to disclosures of sexual violence to build capacity – Prevention programs © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network
  19. 19. OHT# 19Counselling Services at Yarrow Place• The provision of information about medical, legal and counselling rights and options• Brief crisis counselling during crisis response service• Assisting clients to make informed decisions• Supporting the client through any intervention process• Advocating on behalf of the client to other health and welfare services and within the criminal justice system• On going therapeutic counselling (telephone or face to face) addressing the effects of sexual violence (including court support and preparation if needed) © A part of the Women’s & Children’s Health Network

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