Sexual and reproductive abuse


  • Judicial Commission of NSW, Sexual Assault Trials Handbook (2017).
    This bench book provides considerable discussion of offences and procedure in sexual assault trials. In particular, the relevant literature section includes commentary on this topic including discussion of procedure in prescribed sexual offence cases [7-240], and delay and the credibility of complainants in sexual assault proceedings [7-100]. There is a particular focus on sexual assault of children in the bench book.


  • Judicial College of Victoria, Family Violence Bench Book (2014).

    5.2.1 – Sexual abuse provides a number of examples of sexual abuse, and the factors around why it is underreported. Also see 1.1 – Additional Guidance – Common Risk Assessment Framework, for further examples.

    For references to sexual abuse in specific contexts (e.g. people from CALD backgrounds) see: 5.6.2 – Particular experiences of family violence.


  • Department of Justice (WA), Equal Justice Bench Book (2nd edition September 2017).

    Note: Chapter 13 Family and Domestic Violence is currently under review. Until revision is completed, the first edition chapter 13 applies. The following text is based on the first edition chapter.

    This Bench Book cites a number of statistics relevant to sexual violence, including the prevalence (12%) of partner-perpetrated sexual violence against women (at [13.1.1]), and that Indigenous women report particularly high levels of sexual violence (at [13.1.2]). It also recognises rape within marriage as a form of sexual abuse (at [13.0.6]), and refers to the Department of Communities’ definition of domestic violence which includes sexual abuse (at [13.2.3]).


  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2017).
    Neilson notes in Section 4.2 the ‘[h]igh overlap between domestic violence and sexual coercion/assault: Many (some researchers suggest most) relationships characterized by physical domestic violence also involve sexual coercion and assault. Lawyers and service providers will not always be made aware of this form of domestic violence since sexual abuse disclosure rates are known to be very low. Lawyers and service providers can help by becoming aware of the broad range of behaviors that can constitute sexual abuse and by asking appropriate questions’. Sexual abuse as a factor associated with risk is identified in Section 8.8.1. Further references to sexual assault and abuse are made throughout the bench book, frequently in footnotes, but not expanded on substantially (see e.g. discussion of psychological harm caused by sexual abuse in Supplementary Reference 1: Understanding the nature of domestic violence: assessing violence in context).