Australian Institute of Criminology

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Meeting the needs of victims of crime

Mercure Hotel, 818 George St, Sydney
18-19 May 2011

Meeting the needs of victims of crime conference

About the conference

The Australian Institute of Criminology and the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice hosted a groundbreaking conference on meeting the needs of victims of crime – and how building the evidence helps us do that.

The conference will bring together delegates to discuss what research tells us about victims' rights and needs in all their diversity. Delegates will exchange ideas and solutions, examine promising practices and discuss challenges in meeting the needs of victims of crime.

The issues are complex. Individuals and communities are affected by a wide range of crimes such as family and sexual violence, but also terrorism, break and enter, homicide, fraud, home invasion, elder abuse, road trauma and armed robbery.

Conference program

In the context of building the evidence, major themes for the conference included:

  • Effective ways of giving victims a voice
  • What works and why in addressing the needs of victims in the criminal justice system, e.g. investigation, court processes, restorative justice and support needs
  • Understanding the financial and practical needs of victims, what helps in assistance and appropriate forms of compensation
  • Meeting the psychological needs of victims and the effectiveness of counselling
  • Collaboration and strategic partnerships—what works between governments, non-government and private sectors
  • Challenges to evaluating practice in human, community and legal service environments.

Meeting the needs of victims of crime conference will also explore the international experience and how that can be applied in Australia.


Day one

  • Welcome address—Dr Adam Tomison, Director, Australian Institute of Criminology
  • Conference opening—The Hon Greg Smith SC MP, NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice
    Watch presentation on CriminologyTV 
  • Jonathan Doak—Realising participatory rights for victims of crime
  • The Hon. David Levine AO RFD QC—Victims of crime—the geometry in the courtroom and in the administration of sentences
    Plenary address
    Watch presentation on CriminologyTV

Understanding the needs of victims of crime

  • Ann O'Neill, angelhands Inc
    Working in groups with victims of violent crime: What works and when
    Presentation slides
  • Matthew Willis, Australian Institute of Criminology
    Increasing disclosure of violence in Indigenous communities
    Presentation slides
  • Rachel Martin, Thea Deakin-Greenwood and Josie Smith, Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women's Legal Centre
    Aboriginal women in prison: The story from inside out

Sex workers as crime victims

  • Elena Jeffreys, Scarlet Alliance
    Sex worker organisations globally: Infrastructure, choice and power 
  • Jules Kim, Scarlet Alliance
    Meeting the needs of migrant sex workers in Australia: Research to address crimes against sex workers 
  • Scarlet Alliance
    Meeting the needs of migrant sex workers in Australia: Support for sex workers affected by crime

Victims of sexual assault

  • Rezana Karim, University of New South Wales
    A study of NSW legislative reform for sexual assault complainants: Examining complexities: The prosecutor's predicament 
  • Deanne Dale, Westmead Sexual Assault Service and Bernadette Hollis, Justice Health
    Developing a strategic and collaborative partnership approach to ensure equitable access to counselling services for victims of sexual assault in a custodial environment
  • Katja Bulic, Westmead Sexual Assault Service
    Shifting poles: From tertiary service provision to primary prevention. Piloting a preventative approach to providing counselling services to victims of sexual assault at Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre
    Presentation slides

Therapeutic approaches

  • Anthony Jones, and Rose Sommerhalder, Northern Victims Assistance and Counselling Program, Merri Community Health Services
    Evaluation of 'outsourced' counselling to victims of crime: A client and counsellor perspective
    Presentation slides
  • Tony Robinson, Vitality Psychological and Consulting Services
    The importance of boundaries for therapists working with victims of crime
  • Carol Ronken and Nadine McKillop, Bravehearts Inc
    Informing practice: The role of research in effective therapeutic responses to child sexual assault
    Presentation slides

Policing contexts

  • Yasmin Green, Victoria Police
    Meeting the needs of victims within a policing context
    Presentation slides
  • Panel: Establishing a victim-centred approach to sexual assault in Victoria Police—Rod Jouning, Martine Powell and Patrick Tidmarch, Victoria Police

Court support

  • Brendan Searson, NSW Police Force
    Court support for victims and witnesses
  • Workshop: Best practice in court preparation and court support—Emma Zammit and Deborah Scott, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Victim reflections

  • Robyn Holder, Australian National University
    It's not fair—victim reflections on justice decision-making
  • Ann O'Neill, angelhands Inc
    A retrospective exploration of formal and social support received—Experiences of secondary victims of homicide in England and Australia
    Presentation slides

Meeting the needs of vulnerable populations

  • Angela Murphy and Alison Ollerenshaw, University of Ballarat
    'Victims won't even report the crime let alone use support services': The complexities of building pathways to victim support services for marginalised people
    Presentation slides
  • Victoria Clack, Hunter Institute of Mental Health
    Mental health issues and the media: the application of key learning's to victims of crime
  • Myvanwy Hudson, University of New South Wales
    'I learnt to accept the unacceptable': The needs and experiences of adult female survivors of interfamilial child sexual assault negotiating the criminal justice process

Victim involvement in the criminal justice system

  • Kate Milner, Department of Corrective Services, Debbie Irons and Jane Bolitho
    Providing victims of violent and serious crime a central position in the justice process: Post-sentence victim–offender conferencing in NSW
  • Tracey Booth, University of Technology, Sydney
    The voice of the crime victim in the sentencing hearing: 'An improperly enacted and damaging ritual'?
    Presentation slides
  • Sarah Krasnostein, University of Melbourne
    A right to know: To what extent are sentences affected by Victim Impact Statements?

Identifying and responding to victims of human trafficking

  • Belinda Lo, Fitzroy Legal Service
    Opening the doors to justice: Supporting trafficked survivors of sex slavery through the legal system
  • Frances Simmons, University of Technology, Sydney
    The challenge of meeting the needs of trafficking victims: Pathways to compensation
  • Malini Laxminarayan, International Institute of Victimology
    Generalising legal needs of victims: Evidence from the Netherlands and Nepal

Meeting the needs of domestic violence victims

  • Elaine Lloyd, Northern Violence Intervention Program and Pam Kaye, Central Domestic Violence Service
    Enhancing accountability: Practice tools for domestic violence interventions
    Presentation slides
  • Gaby Marcus, University of New South Wales
    Integrated responses to domestic and family violence: What, how, when and why
    Presentation slides
  • Rochelle Braaf, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse
    Fostering abused women's safety through financial independence: The empowering role that services and agencies can play
    Presentation slides

Day Two

Meeting the needs of vulnerable populations

  • Marg Camilleri, University of Ballarat
    Justice system—enter if you're able: Using the Social Model of Disability to give voice to sexual assault victims with cognitive impairment

    Presentation slides
  • Josh Sweeney, Australian Institute of Criminology
    Victimisation and fear of crime among a sample of police detainees: findings from the Drug Use Monitoring Australia (DUMA) program
    Presentation slides
  • Heather Mather, Centacare Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and Benita Marson
    The reality of supporting rural victims

Victim participation in the criminal justice system

  • Tanya Monaghan, Department of Corrective Services
    The Victim–Offender Mediation Unit: Meeting the needs of young victims of crime
    Presentation slides
  • Tyrone Kirchengast, University of New South Wales
    Victim harm, social harm and the adversarial criminal trial: Challenging lawyers' perceptions on the role of victim experience in criminal law
  • Ken Marslew, Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement Inc
    Victim, Survivor, Thriver—The Journey

The role of police in supporting victims

  • Nicola Doumany, Victims Assist Queensland and Craig Weatherly, Queensland Police Service
    A collaborative approach to supporting victims of crime in Queensland
  • Tony Campbell, Supportlink, Inspector Bernard Jackson and Sergeant Mark Polllard, Victoria Police, Amanda Smillie, Victims Support Victoria
    New eReferral: police to victims support agencies

Recent findings on victims of crime

  • Rita Shackel, University of Sydney
    Preliminary findings of a qualitative study on the needs of victims of crime in Australia
  • Cassandra Cross, Queensland Police Service
    'It could never happen to me': The hidden truth about online fraud victimisation and barriers to its prevention
  • Jade Lindley, Australian Institute of Criminology
    Supporting victims of scams: What's needed, what's available and what can be improved?

Victims' needs

  • Craig Matters, Victoria Police
    What victims want: not to be victims. What victims need: Information and intensive management
    Presentation slides
  • Mandy Young, NSW Department of Attorney Genera and Justice
    Serving victims
  • Isobelle Barrett Meyering, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse
    Compensating domestic violence victims: How do the states and territories compare?
    Presentation slides

Victims' voices

  • Cathy Kezelman, Adults Surviving Child Abuse
    Speaking out for change: Giving victims a voice
    Presentation slides
  • Jodi Death, Queensland University of Technology
    Hearing the voices of survivors of child sexual abuse by Church leaders: Why we don't and how we can
  • Janet Loughman, Women's Legal Service, NSW
    From pilot project to legislative reform: Keeping sexual assault victims' counselling records confidential

Meeting the needs of male victims of domestic and family violence

  • Toni McLean, Think Twice! Program
    Are men really victims of intimate partner violence?
    Presentation slides
  • Greg Andresen, Men's Health Australia
    Meeting the needs of male victims of family violence and their children
    Presentation slides
  • Greg Millan, Men's Health Services
    Working with men affected by violence Followed by a panel session, moderated by Dr Elizabeth Celi, psychologist and author.
    Presentation slides
  • Panel discussion—National approaches and meeting the needs of victims of crime
  • Facilitator: Mr Brendan Thomas, Assistant Director General, Crime Prevention and Community Programs, of the Department of Attorney General and Justice.