Joint submission: improving judicial responses to sexual violence

Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Issues Paper 49 – Justice Responses to Sexual Violence

19 June 2024

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and People with Disability Australia (PWDA) have made joint a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Issues Paper – Justice Responses to Sexual Violence.

Our submission draws on the findings from recent research, the findings and recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission, and the experiences of WWDA and PWDA in representing and supporting people with disabilities who have experienced sexual (and other) violence.

We make stand-alone recommendations and expressions of support for recommendations and findings from research, inquiries and reforms.

Summary of Recommendations

Recommendation 1: The ALRC must continue to engage with women with disabilities and their representative organisations in developing the reforms leading from the Justice Responses to Sexual Violence inquiry.

Recommendation 2: The ALRC must, in making its recommendations as a result of its inquiry into justice responses to sexual violence:

  • embed the International Principles and Guidelines on Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities
  • implement the support systems and technologies stated by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in its General Comment on Article 6: Women with disabilities
  • comply with the recommendations made to Australia by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Recommendation 3: The Australian Government and state and territory governments should review recommendation 8.23 to consider the implications of a separate Action Plan to end violence against women and children with disability as opposed to prioritising women and children with disability in the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.

Recommendation 4: All jurisdictions should take targeted action to include and prioritise women with disabilities in efforts to prevent and respond to violence, including within and in accordance with the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and its first Action Plan.

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