Rape cases out at risk by under-trained forensic witnesses

One of the nation’s top forensic physicians has told The New Daily that doctors in hospitals are refusing to get involved with sexual assault cases because they don’t want to get dragged into the justice system.

But the bigger issue is the disconnect between being legally qualified to gather forensic evidence and being fully capable of doing an adequate job.

Source: Rape cases out at risk by under-trained forensic witnesses

Queensland will abolish rape defence ‘loophole’ if law reform experts recommend it

The Attorney-General is referring the mistake of fact defence in rape cases to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for advice on how to change it.

The 110-year-old legal defence allows an accused rapist to argue they had a mistaken but honest and reasonable belief that sex was consensual.

It has been used by defendants including repeat violent offenders and those who argued that a woman’s behaviour, including previous flirting or visiting a man’s home, could be taken as consent.

The Government had been reviewing the use of the contentious defence since last May, when the ABC revealed the case of “Jayne”, a woman who nearly bled to death after a sexual encounter on the Gold Coast.

Source: Queensland will abolish rape defence ‘loophole’ if law reform experts recommend it – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wollstonecraft’s Dilemma: Identity Politics and Feminism

Although the ideology of identity politics remains hegemonic in the academy and in many social institutions, a growing—and arguably necessary—body of critique has been emerging. These critiques have emanated both from the arbiters of the so-called silent majority and from those on the Left who are concerned by the displacement of class by identity and by the unremitting politics of grievance. . . .

When an icon of second-wave feminism like Germaine Greer is deplatformed because she doesn’t hold the correct opinion on something, we know that free thought and free speech are in serious danger.

Source: Wollstonecraft’s Dilemma: Identity Politics and Feminism – Areo

From diplomacy to security, Australian women missing from world stage

Women are not just underrepresented in parliament, company boards and senior management – they are also missing from Australia’s international relations presence, an absence described as “detrimental to the national interest [which] hinders the achievement of our foreign policy objectives”.

Parliament’s intelligence committee, which is responsible for reviewing national security legislation, has never been helmed by a woman, and for almost half of its 21 years of existence, has sat with no women at all.

Australia’s intelligence community was particularly weighted in favour of men, with women representing just 9% of senior executives in the Office of National Assessments in 2016, and just 24% across the defence intelligence agencies.

Source: From diplomacy to security, Australian women missing from world stage | Australia news | The Guardian

Women’s Family Law Support Service may end after NSW Government cuts funding

A widely supported free service that helps women navigate the complex and draining family court system is forced to beg for money to stay afloat after the NSW Government refuses to extend funding.

Source: Women’s Family Law Support Service may end after NSW Government cuts funding – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Reproductive coercion affects one in three female domestic violence victims, study shows

 

One in three women who experience domestic violence are probably also experiencing reproductive coercion, according to new research.

Source: Reproductive coercion affects one in three female domestic violence victims, study shows – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Woman stabbed after another found dead, as domestic violence shelter admissions spike

The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter reported an “astonishing” 500 more women and children had sought its help this year compared to last year.

Its chief executive Di Gipey said that was despite government and police statistics showing a drop in alcohol and domestic violence-related assaults and alcohol-related presentations at the hospital’s emergency department.

She said police referrals to the centre were also up by 110 since October, “which is quite a lot”.

“So they’ve arrested less people, but referred more people into our service,” Ms Gipey said.

She called on the Territory Government to look at the shelter’s data and work with them before declaring alcohol policies a success.

Source: Woman stabbed after another found dead, as domestic violence shelter admissions spike – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trans Victorians can alter birth certificates without surgery under Labor plan

Trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians will no longer need to have gender reassignment surgery in order to change the sex on their birth certificate, under proposed new laws.

The state Labor government will on Tuesday introduce a bill to parliament which, if passed, will allow applicants to self-nominate the sex listed on their birth registration as male, female or any other gender diverse or non-binary descriptor of their own choice.

Source: Trans Victorians can alter birth certificates without surgery under Labor plan | Society | The Guardian

Academic mobbing needs to be challenged, both inside and outside the institution

Academics should be standing together in defence of universities’ fundamental values: the pursuit of truth, evidence-based research, and academic freedom. They should not be joining in when identity groups mob their colleagues.

The activists who are currently participating in this mobbing will regret it when they find themselves outside the circle of acceptable views. There is a question about how trans rights and women’s rights interact, given the legal changes to the understanding of sex proposed in multiple countries. Women in universities (and women everywhere) must be able to work on and speak about these issues without fearing for their safety or their careers.

Source: Academic mobbing needs to be challenged, both inside and outside the institution

Trauma of Australia’s Indigenous ‘Stolen Generations’ is still affecting children today

In the latest report, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a government-funded statistics agency, used existing data from surveys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to conduct the first national study of how the forced separations have affected children in subsequent generations. Previous reports looked at the impacts of these policies on the Stolen Generations themselves, and on their adult descendants.

“What all of this work around Stolen Generations is showing is that compared to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Stolen Generations and their descendants are far worse off,” says Richard Weston, a descendant of the Meriam people from the Torres Strait, and chief executive of the Healing Foundation in Canberra, a government-funded organization that is working towards healing for the Stolen Generations and their descendants, and which commissioned the report. “Trauma stays with people, and its impacts are far-reaching and they’re profound,” says Weston.

Source: Trauma of Australia’s Indigenous ‘Stolen Generations’ is still affecting children today