Separate to the question of the responses of government institutions in which child sexual abuse has occurred, are questions regarding what is best practice for government and statutory authorities in responding holistically to victims of child sexual abuse from the point of first disclosure throughout their life course (for victims who disclose as children or as adults), including legislation, judicial processes and outcomes, holding perpetrators to account. Research projects under this theme explore the following questions:

  • How do government responses need to differ in responses to child compared to adult survivors of child sexual abuse?

  • Do government responses to victims of child sexual abuse that occurred in institutional contexts need to differ to the response to child sexual abuse occurring in other contexts?

  • What are the specific and additional responses required by government to monitor and respond to child sexual abuse that occurs within institutional contexts?

Project name Conducting Agency

Sentencing for Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Contexts

Conducted by Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg, Monash University,  Hugh Donnelly, Judicial Commission of New South Wales and Dr Karen Gelb, Consultant Criminologist

A statistical analysis of sentencing for child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

Conducted by Karen Gelb, Consultant Criminologist

Agencies with oversight of sexual abuse allegations, and Statutory definitions of child sexual abuse applicable to institutional settings – fact sheet

Conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies

The admissibility and use of tendency, coincidence and relationship evidence in child sexual assault prosecutions in a selection of foreign jurisdictions

Conducted by University of Sydney

A systematic review of the efficacy of specialist police investigation units in responding to child sexual abuse

Conducted by Griffith University and Deakin University

Specialist Prosecution Units and Courts: A review of the literature

Conducted by University of Sydney 

The use of effectiveness of restorative justice in criminal justice systems following sexual abuse or comparable harms

Conducted by University of New South Wales

Legislative and related frameworks for information sharing Conducted by Macquarie University

Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials of institutional child sexual abuse: An empirical study

Conducted by Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Professor Annie Cossins and Natalie Martschuk

The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases

Conducted by University of Sydney Law School

An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse

Conducted by Deakin University, Griffith University and Charles Sturt University

Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy

Conducted by Queensland University of Technology