Justice Responses to Sexual Violence: Issues Paper (2024)

The Australian Law Reform Commission invites stakeholder submissions in relation to the questions raised in the Issues Paper. The questions focus on the information, support, and options available to victim survivors following their experience of sexual violence. At the same time, the questions recognise that a person accused of an act of sexual violence cannot be convicted of an offence unless it is established beyond reasonable doubt.

It is not essential to respond to all of the questions in the Issues Paper, and we would like to hear about the questions that matter most to you.

Download the Issues Paper

The ALRC has also prepared a one page Info Sheet about the Issues Paper and a standalone document listing the questions contained in the Issues Paper.

Download the Info Sheet
Download the Questions (PDF)
Download the Questions (Word)

The ALRC welcomes submissions from individuals and organisations from all over Australia.  

The ALRC is especially interested in hearing from: 

  • people who have experienced sexual violence; 
  • state and territory government and law enforcement agencies; 
  • policy and research organisations; 
  • community service providers (especially specialist sexual assault service providers and legal assistance service providers); and 
  • the broader legal profession (including prosecutors and defence lawyers). 
  • people and organisations representing groups that are overrepresented in sexual violence statistics.

This includes:

  • women;  
  • First Nations people;  
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse (‘CALD’) backgrounds;  
  • people with disability;  
  • people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, brotherboy, sistergirl, or who have other genders and sexualities (LGBTQIA+);  
  • people who have been convicted of criminal offences and been incarcerated; 
  •  people who are migrants or newly arrived refugees impacted by insecure visa status;  
  • people living with HIV;  
  • people in residential care settings;  
  • older people, especially those experiencing cognitive decline; and  
  • young people.
Make a submission

It will cost you nothing to make a submission and you don’t need a lawyer to do so.  

If you tell us that you want your submission to be confidential, your submission and identity will be kept confidential in accordance with our Submissions Policy. The Submissions Policy contains further information about how the ALRC deals with freedom of information (FOI) requests and compulsory processes (such as a subpoena) in relation to confidential submissions.

Public submissions will be published on the ALRC website in accordance with the Submissions Policy.  

The ALRC wishes to respect the ability of people to identify as having experienced sexual violence and to share their experiences in a submission. However, different laws generally restrict how and when some information can be published if it would identify a victim survivor, a complainant in legal proceedings, or a person accused of committing sexual violence. Further information is available on the Submissions page. 

If you need our support to make a submission you can contact us. This includes: 

  • if you want assistance to make a written submission;  
  • if you would prefer to make a verbal submission;  
  • if you need the support of an interpreter; and 
  • if you need a referral to a service provider who can help you make a submission.  

Email: jrsv@alrc.gov.au 

Phone: 0456 972 868 

We will work with you to ensure that you have the support you need to make your submission. We are unable to assist you in making a submission in cases where your submission may relate to ongoing criminal proceedings.

Additional support services: 

If you, or someone you know, needs help, the following services are available: 

If you, or someone you know, needs legal support, the following services are available: 

  • Women’s Legal Services: https://www.wlsa.org.au/members/ 
  • Community Legal Centres: www.clcs.org.au 
  • Legal Aid: www.nationallegalaid.org/contact 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services: contact your State or Territory Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal service provider to receive support. 
  • Law Societies and Institutes: contact your State or Territory law society/institute to receive support finding a lawyer. 

If you are feeling unsafe or frightened, or if threats have been made against you, you should contact your local police for assistance and if you are in immediate danger, dial Triple Zero (000). 

To report a crime or to contact police in a non-urgent situation, contact your local police on 131 444. Some states and territories offer online and alternative methods of reporting. If you want to report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.CrimeStoppers.com.au.