Sex sadists target vulnerable domestic violence victims

Report shows female child sex abuse survivors are more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence.
Report shows female child sex abuse survivors are more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence. Barry Leddicoat

RAPISTS and sexual sadists are making the lives of domestic violence victims even more traumatic.

Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety on Wednesday revealed a study showing one in eight women are the victims of both sexual and physical violence.

The Landscapes State of Knowledge report shows female child sex abuse survivors are more likely to experience sexual assault and domestic violence at the hands of intimate partners, than those who have had trouble-free childhoods.

The report says 24% to 62% of women suffered sexual coercion by their partners, while up to 47% of women were sexually assaulted.

Offending partners used sex to control their victims and alcohol, drugs and pornography were often precursors to their attacks.

Victims of intimate partner sexual violence were less likely to ask for help than those who experienced domestic violence.

The paper notes that normal understandings of what constitutes "real rape" impacts how victims and perpertrators  interpret sexual assaults.

"These norms particularly affect interpretations of intimate partner sexual violence incidents," the report says.

ANROWS suggests a range of recommendations for police, courts, support services and government and other organisations to consider including governments stop funding prevention programs that support victim blaming.

Other suggestions included working towards lowering the stigma attached to intimate partner sexual violence.

The organisation also suggests more education and professional development to ensure police and courts are sensitive to the needs of victims and to help  minimise the stress of the legal process.

It also suggests governments undertake "large scale campaigns" to promote gendered violence as a risk factor for poor mental health outcomes.

Sexual health be clinics be provided with training and materials to enable streamlined referrals to support services for victims.

Public education on violence against women that acknowledges different forms of violence and its "gendered impacts and characteristics".

The organisation also wants providers of mainstream health and social services to be "sensitised" to the possibility of intimate partner sexual violence and re-victimisation cases.

*If you need support call DVConnect on 1800 811 811, DV Line on 1800 656 463 or 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).


Topics:  abuse domestic violence sex terrorathome

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