Justice as healing : developing Aboriginal justice models to address child sexual assault


For a number of years, there have been many efforts by Indigenous women to establish effective and appropriate responses to family violence and to child sexual assault. The criminal justice system has a history of too many Aboriginal victims who have not received the support they need as they seek both justice and healing from child sexual assault. In this article, the author argues that in Australia, Aboriginal child sexual abuse has been ‘normalised’ and that the ‘minimisation’ of child abuse cannot be allowed any more. She discusses the findings of three years of researching the experiences of Aboriginal women and girls who use the legal system in response to child sexual assault. She suggests that there is a need to develop an alternative justice model to address sexual assault; one that is premised on both justice and healing. She contends that tradition and cultural influences must be used as the foundation of effective healing programs in order to comprehensively deal with these problems and provide true justice for victims.

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This document has been sourced from the Indigenous Law Bulletin, previously known as the Aboriginal Law Bulletin, database published on Austlii (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/IndigLawB/). AustLII advises that it is not the copyright owner of the source documents published on AustLII and is not able to give permission for reproduction of those source documents (refer copyright policy disclaimer dated October 2010). Queries about copyright should be referred to the publisher - the Indigenous Law Centre and the University of New South Wales.