Reported sexual violence victimisations in the criminal justice system

The Ministry of Justice has released a report that the Government has said will provide a baseline for measuring its work to address and end sexual violence in New Zealand.

The report, Attrition and progression: Reported sexual violence victimisations in the criminal justice system analyses 23,739 sexual violence victimisations reported to Police between July 2014 and June 2018.  The report summary notes that: 

"Trends for people charged with or convicted of sexual violence offences are reasonably well understood. However, the same cannot be said for sexual violence victims and the experiences they report to Police; where research has been undertaken it has not provided a complete view.”

The report: 

  • quantifies the proportion of reported sexual violence victimisations that progress through the justice system to a conviction;
  • aims to determine if differences exist over time, for children and young people, adults reporting historic childhood offences, different offence types, Māori and different perpetrator
  • relationship types; 
  • undertake an initial analysis of the time taken to progress through the system.
  • differs from previous research, in that it includes all sexual violence victimisations reported to Police over a four-year period and includes both adult and child victims.

The 2019 Well-Being Budget included funding to support initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual violence. The government has clearly signalled its intention to introduce legislation and to do so quickly.

The NZBA’s criminal committee has done an initial analysis of the report and considers that while there are many beneficial aspects to it, there are also some areas that need addressing. If members would like to discuss the report or its contents, please contact Matthew Goodwin who is co-ordinating our response to sexual violence reform initiatives.

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