Declarations of Truth is a report published in June 2020 by WomenatthecentrE – a result of our 3-year research project, funded by WAGE.
We were tasked to explore and find an alternative model of justice for sexual violence survivors. Survivors of sexual violence have long stated that the current criminal legal system has failed them in ways that often exacerbate the trauma they experience from the assault.
We view justice as embodying three fundamental principles:
- of aggressor accountability, remorse and change in attitude and behaviour, having recognised the harm caused by their actions;
- of the survivors feeling heard, believed and validated
- of societal acknowledgement of the role it plays in navigating and negotiating the above.
In an effort to find an alternative model of justice which could address these principles in ways that were clothed in compassion and kindness, and would lead to healing and real social change, we engaged in a number of research activities to gain greater insight and identify legal and social approaches to holding perpetrators accountable, changing their behaviours, while providing better supports to survivors.
This research report is the culmination of our research, and we are extremely grateful for the brave survivors who shared their stories.