Articles on Sexual assault

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A protestor at a demonstration against rape. Rape statistics collected by the police do not reflect the high levels of under-reporting. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Rewriting the script around South Africa’s rape statistics

South Africa needs a new rape policy that will change the way the police collect statistics.
Research has shown that when sex work is illegal, street sex workers who are victims of sexual assault are reluctant to report it to police. shutterstock

Victorian rape law needs reform to protect sex workers

There is a non-binding precedent in Victoria that allows judges to consider the victim's sexual experience when passing sentence on a sex offender – but only when the "victim is a prostitute".
Women in Poland stand up against violence. EPA/Bartolomiej Zborowski

The pitfalls of measuring violence against women

It was simultaneously heartening and dispiriting to see the release of a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the prevalence of violence against women in Europe. Dispiriting…
The UK’s justice system has failed to protect rape complainants from harm. Valerie Everett

Suicides show how justice system fails rape victims

In the space of just over a year, two women in Greater Manchester have killed themselves because of their experiences as complainants in sexual offences cases. The challenge this poses to the criminal…
When it comes to extreme porn, there’s more the law could do to help. CMCarterSS

Laws against rape porn must do more to address cultural harm

Hidden amongst the more high-profile reforms in the newly published Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014 is a proposal to extend the law on extreme pornography. This law, first enacted in 2008, criminalises…
Protesters gather in Delhi, near the site where a Danish woman was gang-raped, to demand action on rampant violence against women. EPA/Money Sharma

What gang rapes tell us about Delhi and the wider world

Coinciding with yet another brutal gang rape in Delhi is news that Delhi’s women and child welfare minister, Rakhi Birla, is recruiting an all-female commando unit to help respond to Delhi’s rape problem…
The ‘lock 'em up’ approach largely ignores the victim. Image from shutterstock.com

Justice reform: a better way to deal with sexual assault

All too often, governments take the lazy option when faced with public outcry about sexual offences. Their automatic, knee-jerk, politically charged response is to “get tough on crime” by imposing mandatory…
Protest: Indian women demonstrate against sexual violence. Rawesh Lalwani

Hard evidence: how prevalent is rape in Asia?

Hard Evidence is a series of articles that looks at some of the trickiest public policy questions we face. Academic experts delve into available research evidence to provide informed analysis you won’t…
Intimidated: many women feel they have been targeted to drive them out of the political arena. Lorenz Khazaleh via Creative Commons

Sexual violence aims to drive women out of Egyptian politics

Violence against female protesters was a terrifying hallmark of the unrest that led to the fall of the Morsi government. Local NGOs documented more than 100 reports of sexual violence, including rape…

Crime dramas help stop sexual assault

Television shows that feature people intervening in sexual assault encourage people to do the same. Researchers found that…

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