Sexual Assault in the Australian Context (SCWK6950)


Sexual assault is one of the most common forms of violence against women and children There is a growing understanding of sexual violence against boys and men. Sexual victimisation can have devastating effects on a person's development and family relationships and without effective responses, results in long term emotional and social difficulties. Effective intervention requires knowledge of complex inter organisational, health, community and legal contexts. Students will review the contexts in which sexual violence take splace and the emerging evidence base for effective interventions as well as critically analysing a range of preventive, systemic and therapeutic frameworks.

Further unit of study information


24 hrs in block mode over 1 week


case conference simulation and refection (40%); essay (39%); and on-line reflection (30%)


Short/Indicative Reading List
Atkinson, J. (2002). Trauma Trails, Recreating Song Lines: The Transgenerational Effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia. North Melbourne, Australia: Spinifex Press.
Briere, J., & Elliott, D. M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27(10), 1205-1222.
Deblinger, E., Mannarino, A. P., Cohen, J. A., Runyon, M. K., & Steer, R. A. (2011). Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children: Impact of the Trauma Narrative and Treatment Length. Depression and Anxiety, 28(1), 67-75. doi: 10.1002/da.20744
Ellsberg, M., & Heise, L. (2005). Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists. Washington DC, United States: World Health Organization, PATH.
Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and Recovery. USA: Basic Books.
Fawcett, B. & Waugh, F. (Eds.) (2008). Addressing Violence, Abuse and Oppression: Debates and Challenges. London: Routlege.
Krienert, J. L., & Walsh, J. A. (2011). Sibling Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Analysis of Offender, Victim, and Event Characteristics in National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Data, 2000-2007. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 20(4), 353-372
Lievore, D. (2005). No longer silent: A study of women's help-seeking decisions and service responses to sexual assault. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.
Mann, S. (2006). 'How can you do this work?' Responding to questions about the experience of working with women who were subjected to child sexual abuse. In D. Denborough (Ed.), Trauma: Narrative responses to traumatic experience (pp. 1-24). Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications.
Reese-Weber, M., & Smith, D. M. (2011). Outcomes of Child Sexual Abuse as Predictors of Later Sexual Victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(9), 1884-1905.
Renzetti, C.M., Edleson, J.L. & Bergen, R.K. (Eds) 2001. The sourcebook on violence against women, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; London: Sage Publications
Ross, C. A. (2000). The Trauma Model: A solution to the problem of comorbidity in psychiatry. Richardson, Tx: Manitou Commuications, Inc.
Stanley, N. S. N. (2011). Engaging with Child Sexual Abuse. Child Abuse Review, 20(2), 77-81. doi: 10.1002/car.1179
Stoltenborgh, M., van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Euser, E. M., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2011). A Global Perspective on Child Sexual Abuse: Meta-Analysis of Prevalence Around the World. Child Maltreatment, 16(2), 79-101. doi: 10.1177/1077559511403920
Strang, H. & Braithwaite, J. (eds) (2002) Restorative justice and family violence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tavkar, P., & Hansen, D. J. (2011). Interventions for families victimized by child sexual abuse: Clinical issues and approaches for child advocacy center-based services. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(3), 188-199. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2011.02.005
Thiara, R. K., & Gill, A. K. (Eds.). (2010). Violence against Women in South Asian Communities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Trask, E. V., Walsh, K., & DiLillo, D. (2011). Treatment effects for common outcomes of child sexual abuse: A current meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16(1), 6-19. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2010.10.001

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If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.