Rape Mythology and the Criminal Justice System

A Pilot Study of Sexual Assault Sentencing in Victoria

Jessica Kennedy, Patricia Easteal, Caroline Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This research was completed for an LLB Honours thesis, which proposed to potentially serve as a pilot for a larger study. By examining sexual assault sentencing and judicial comments from a sample of mostly 2008 judgments in Victoria, this article explores differences in sentencing, focusing on the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim. The state of Victoria was chosen for the research because although Victorian sexual assault law and legal process has had the most progressive reforms, the only way to ensure that these reforms are as effective and progressive as they seem, is to test their implementation with research. Our analysis suggests that although judges are demonstrating a better understanding of the reality of sexual assault in their discussion of mitigating and aggravating variables, this awareness is not translating into sentences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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