Calls for specialist courts for harmful sexual behaviour

Press Release – Rape Prevention Education
Any Harmful Sexual Behaviour Must Have Specialist Assessment and Specialist Courts, says Rape Prevention Education Auckland.

Dr Kim McGregor, Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education Whakatu Mauri, says that she would have preferred that a direction for a specialist clinical Harmful Sexual Behaviour assessment was included in the sentence, along with the home detention imposed today on the comedian who admitted indecently assaulting his four-year old daughter. While it is positive that he has completed an alcohol treatment programme, such programmes do not address harmful sexual behaviour.

Dr McGregor says “Any person who commits a crime of sexual violence should be mandated to undergo a specialist clinical Harmful Sexual Behaviour assessment so that the individual’s level of risk can be tailored to the intervention. Specialist services can include developing robust safety plans, having specialist therapists available to work with the wider family/whanau to ensure that all are aware of the safety plan and can help to ensure the plan is adhered to”.

Over recent months there has been a concerning trend of inconsistent decisions coming from the courts dealing with sexual violence cases. This provides further support to the Law Commission’s recommendations that crimes of sexual violence need to be heard in a specialist court with trained judges, jurors and court personnel.

Our concern is to make our communities safe and to ensure the most appropriate assessments, treatments and processes are provided to all families/whanau affected by sexual violence.

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