Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offences: Issues papers

The Commission has published eight short issues papers for our inquiry, Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offences.  They are available as pdfs and Word documents from the links at the bottom of the page - scroll down to download.

The issues papers describe the current state of the justice system and ask questions about how to improve it. 

  • Guide to the Issues Papers
  • A Working Together to Respond to Sexual Offences: Systems 
  • B Sexual Offences: Key Issues in the Criminal Justice System 
  • C Defining Sexual Offences 
  • D Sexual Offences: Report to Charge 
  • E Sexual Offences: The Trial Process 
  • F People Who Have Committed Sexual Offences 
  • G Sexual Offences: Restorative and Alternative Justice Models 
  • H Sexual Offences: Civil Law and Other Non-Criminal Responses  
  • List of questions

[Scroll down to download]

To see all the issues papers combined into a single pdf, download the combined issues papers file.

Tell us what you think

This review has the potential to reshape the way the justice system deals with sexual offences in Victoria. 

We want to hear from anyone with experience and interest in this area, including people whose work involves responding to sexual harm, people working in the justice system, family violence and child protection workers, people who have experienced sexual harm, counsellors, academics,  and researchers.

Make a written submission by 23 December 2020. Find out how to make a submission.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission will report by 31 August 2021.

How we will use your submissions

We will publish public submissions on our website, unless they include comments that are offensive or defamatory, or are outside the scope of the review. However:

  • we will remove personal addresses and contact details
  • we may remove the names of people making submissions who have experienced sexual harm, depending on the circumstances (for example, if they do not consent to being identified)
  • we may remove information that might identify someone (in submissions that discuss specific cases or the personal circumstances of people).

NB: The law about identifying victims of sexual offences has changed since we published our Issues Papers. The information on our website has been updated, but not in the Issues Papers. We will contact anyone making a submission that is affected by this change before publishing the submission.


Have you experienced sexual assault?

We have also published a paper specifically for people who have experienced sexual assault or know someone who has: Have You Or Someone You Know Experienced Sexual Assault?

Please go to Engage Victoria to provide your feedback and tell us how to make things better for people who have experienced sexual assault.

Easy English

We have prepared an Easy English paper, Your Ideas About Sexual Harm, for people who want to tell us their views about sexual harm. Follow the link at the bottom of this page.

You can complete the form online and send it to us attached to an email.

Content warning

The materials in these issues papers relate to sexual assault and/or violence. Some content may be confronting or disturbing.

If you need help, here are some options for advice and support.

Ethical reporting

The Victorian Law Reform Commission encourages sensitive, ethical reporting of the issues related to this reference and requests that, wherever possible, the contact details of support services are included in media reports because people who have experienced sexual harm may have long lasting trauma.



Date published: 
05 Oct 2020
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