Young Women Forum: Sexual Violence

In October 2022, the Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing (CWSW) held the ‘Young Women Forum: Sexual Violence’ to engage young women in the community in CWSW’s sexual violence advocacy work. The forum provided an opportunity for participants to share their views on the day-to-day impact of sexual violence; the contributing factors to sexual violence perpetration; areas requiring targeted prevention initiatives; and supports and services for victim-survivors. 

Forum participants expressed that sexual violence and its impacts are pervasive and insidious, affecting every aspect of their lives and constantly occupying space in their minds. 

Participants shared the view that sexual violence is present across all areas of public and private life and stated that a whole-of-society preventative approach is needed to address the underlying drivers of perpetration. 

Participants highlighted key areas requiring attention, including:

  • Quality respectful and healthy relationships and consent education
  • Perpetrator accountability within workplaces and within the justice system
  • Access to therapeutic and legal supports and services for victim-survivors
  • Equitable access to leadership and governance positions 
  • Addressing the normalisation of sexual violence in mainstream media and pornography
  • Bystander intervention training
  • Targeted prevention initiatives for drink spiking

Participants shared a strong frustration regarding victim-survivors difficulties with accessing the supports they need to assist recovery and a just outcome and stated that “help is only for the privileged”. 

We would like to thank all the young women who took part in the forum. It was a privilege to listen to your passionate, impressive, and inspiring discussions.



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