“We recognise the commitment of government and in particular the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Parliamentary Committee on Justice to develop the legal framework and service models to address sexual offences over the past 15 years. This has resulted in a framework and models with the potential to address many of the underlying issues that bedevil access to justice for survivors of sexual violence. However, to date, the impact of these developments is not evident. Survivors and organisations working to support them in the criminal justice system continue to report alarming rates of secondary victimisation, and the reporting to conviction rates appear to be unchanged over the past 15 years.
The Shukumisa Campaign assesses that there are two primary reasons for this. The first has been the lack of investment in a national plan to ensure court and provincial leadership to implement and ensure staff accountability to the standards established in the framework.
The second relates to failure to commit resources to ensure their implementation at scale. We recognise that this failure is contextualised by budget constraints and competing priorities. However we believe that the profound impact on individuals and society necessitates that spending on sexual offences be prioritised to signal the state’s commitment to effectively address this pervasive violation of women’s rights and to realise the vision of the legal framework.”
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