Reconceptualising Sexual and Violent Victimisation and Justice


  • Assess and compare conventional and innovative responses to sexual and violent victimisation in different contexts of violence
  • Analyse state-based compensation or financial assistance schemes for victims, past and present
  • Analyse the operation and impact of Queensland’s financial assistance scheme for victims
  • Operationalise and apply the construct of ‘victims’ justice interests’ to violent victimisation
  • Analyse Indigenous sentencing courts, partner violence and other offences, and pathways to desistance
  • Analyse informal justice (non-state) responses to gender violence in the developing world

About the project

Despite more than 30 years of significant legal reform in responding to sexual violence, victims continue to express dissatisfaction with how the police and courts handle their cases, and 85 per cent do not report offences in the first instance. The project has considered a range of conventional and innovative justice responses to victimisation that exist within and outside the legal system (Daly 2011) and devised the Sexual Violence and Justice Matrix (Daly 2014c).

The Matrix arrays country (developed and developing, at peace or conflict) and victimisation-offending (individual, occupational, institutional, collective) contexts of violence; it permits a global contextual analysis of violent victimisation, coupled with a method of assessing the efficacy of justice mechanisms by applying the construct of ‘victims’ justice interests’. Empirical studies have been undertaken to examine different justice mechanisms (for example, financial assistance, youth justice conferences, sentencing practices, redress schemes, informal justice) in different contexts of victimisation.

The research focus is on the degree to which such mechanisms can address one or more victims’ justice interests for participation, voice, validation, vindication, and offender accountability-taking responsibility. Research on Australian Indigenous sentencing courts is analysing the impact of culturally appropriate sentencing practices on victims and offenders, and on encouraging offenders’ pathways to desistance.

Project Leader: Professor Kathleen Daly (Griffith University)

Project Team: Dr Robyn Holder (Research Fellow), Victoria Meyer, Professor Elena Marchetti (Indigenous sentencing courts and partner violence)

Type of Funding: ARC Discovery Projects (2008-2011, 2013-2015, 2009-2014, co-CI with Marchetti), Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance (2012)

Dates: 2008 - Present

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