Connecting survivors to therapeutic support and criminal justice through informal reporting options: an analysis of sexual violence reports made to a digital reporting tool in Australia

Publication Name

Current Issues in Criminal Justice


This article analyses the content of 483 reports of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and various forms of sexual harassment, made to a digital reporting tool (DRT) developed by a rape crisis centre in Melbourne, Australia. These written digital reports were made in a confidential and informal capacity, with all de-identified reports distributed to relevant policing jurisdictions to support intelligence gathering. Based on an analysis of the de-identified reports, this article suggests the DRT functioned as an important gateway in connecting survivors with appropriate therapeutic support when disclosing sexual violence and had a demonstrable capacity to provide the police with information for intelligence gathering. There was also scope for survivors to make formal reports should they wish to do so. However, further research with police, sexual violence support services and survivors is needed to develop a full understanding of the potential of informal sexual violence reporting options.

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