The terms of reference for this inquiry asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission to look at:
- barriers to reporting sexual offences: what prevents people from reporting sexual violence
- why reports of sexual violence may not proceed through the justice system
- how to reduce the trauma of people who have experienced sexual violence, when they engage with the justice system
- the best ways of responding to sexual offences—including alternatives to the justice system
- how to build on previous reforms
Improving the justice system’s response to sexual offences has been the subject of ongoing research and reform in Victoria.
This report focuses on areas that will make a major difference:
- making it less difficult to take the first step towards seeking justice—especially for people who face greater barriers to access than others
- having a strong set of justice options for people who have experienced sexual violence
- improving victim survivor experiences of the justice process
- ensuring the justice process is evidence-informed and enables victim survivors to present their best evidence
- having structures to ensure that the justice system responds effectively to sexual violence and keeps improving.