By Anastasia Powell and Tully O’Neill
We tend to think of “justice” as meaning having one’s day in court – and that justice is done when the perpetrator is convicted and punished. But for many victim-survivors of sexual violence, that day may never come.
While one in five Australian women and one in 22 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime, most do not report it to police. Even for those who do, conviction is difficult. And the trial process can further add to victims’ trauma.
Research with victim-survivors has also repeatedly found that “justice” itself can mean many things. Some survivors describe “justice” as meaning that their experience is heard and the offender is held responsible for their actions.
Some victims also describe wanting to be able to tell the whole storyabout what happened to them to an audience that believes them and that acknowledges the wrongfulness of the harm done.
Perhaps this is why some survivors are using social media and other online platforms to share their experiences of sexual violence and seek support from a community of peers.