Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Naming Paedophiles

The report into vulnerable children and child protection has been released. The 900 page report includes recommendations around extending mandatory reporting to include childcare workers and kindergarten teachers, clerics being required to report colleagues in religious organisations if suspected of child abuse and repeal of the law that requires sex offenders names to be suppressed.  The difficulty with publicising the names of paedophiles is that most children and young people know their offender.  Whilst we can all understand why parents would like to know if a paedophile lives in their neighbourhood, identifying sex offenders will often identify their victims and families.  This report was about the protection of vulnerable children. Identifying them and their relatives is not in their long term interests. 

Monday, 27 February 2012

Clinical Supervision

SECASA provides clinical supervision for professionals and agencies working with people who have experienced sexual assault and/or family violence. The SECASA supervisors are experienced counsellors who are qualified psychologists and social workers.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Making Rights Reality Launch

The Making Rights Reality project was launched on Friday 24th February 2012 at 10.00 at the Multicultural Hub in Elizabeth Street.  This project brings together SECASA, The Federation of Community Legal Services and Springvale Monash Community Legal Service.  Making Rights Reality is a two year pilot aimed at making it easier for victims of sexual assault with a cognitive impairment or communication difficulties to report sexual assault by providing them with intensive, ongoing support.
This project has received funding from a number of philanthropic trusts including the William Buckland Foundation, Portland House Foundation, Reichstein Foundation and Victorian Women's Trust. The Department of Human Services has also provided some funding.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Child Sexual Abuse Material Increase

The Australian Federal Police reported in The Age (8.2.12) that they now find hundreds of thousands and even millions of images of child abuse material on suspects' computers.  The Cyber Crime Unit Head commented that there was no empirical evidence of an increase in the number of paedophiles but that access to images of child pornography had become easier with the advent of the internet.
It is heartening to know that international law enforcement agencies are co-operating on this issue and that there was a 30 percent increase in arrests for child pornography offences in 2011.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Jury Directions in Sexual Assault Cases

There have been a number of appeals against rape convictions over the past two years on the grounds that the Judge erred in the directions to the jury.  This issue has raised its head again in The Age today with two of Victoria's leading jurists questioning the complexity and length of instructions from the Judge to a jury.  Victoria has lengthy and intricate jury directions that can lead to opening up the appeal avenue when a victim thinks their ordeal is over and justice has prevailed.