Economic Funding for Victims of Sexual Assault

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Background:

Rape and sexual abuse is one of the biggest violations of human rights in modern, developed countries. This issue directly violates Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After decades of development for human rights, one would expect that such large objectification and abuse of women still exists in the modern world. However, the problem for rape and abuse against women is still a prevalent issue affecting millions of women worldwide. Rape and assault against women are severe violations of human rights, yet they are still evident globally. Even though boys and men do face these same violations, the ratio of men to women who are affected by both sexual and domestic abuse is disturbingly disproportional. The World Health Organisation conducted a survey and more than 35% of women reported to be sexually abused in their lifetime, however this number could seriously increase due to the fact many attacks go unreported.

Effects:

Sexual abuse has large physical ramifications like the potential spreading of sexual infections as well as many physical signs of abuse, like bruising, injury and some cases death. As well as physical ramifications, it has large emotional and mental effects on the victim, such as depression, anxiety and in many cases resulting in alcohol and drug abuse. But most disturbingly, women face large economic repercussions when being a victim of domestic abuse. Being a victim of domestic abuse effects women when it comes to economic growth and development. Many women who are victims become financially unstable due being unable to return to work due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and psychological disorders. This, on top of large unaffordable bills for psychologists and trauma therapy, becomes unsustainable. Quantitative findings show that rape survivors also have a lower household income. To conclude, rape not only affects both the physical and mental health of victims but also financially. Financial assets are a fundamental bridge to recovery after a traumatic event; and even though there are already existing policies, they do not adequately address and support the needs of sexual assault victims.

Solution:

While it is evident we cannot stop the problem of rape and sexual abuse in its entirety due to the extent of the issue and the fact that as humans we cannot stop another human from abusing someone. However, we should try to make the recovery as comfortable as possible for the victim. Setting up new policies to allow for a special ‘fund’ for victims of rape and abuse would help to maintain financial stability during the recovery process. This money could come from the Government, taxes (like welfare benefits) or even work like a Superannuation system. This will help the women to move forward and do so without having to worry about financial costs.

Sources: 

Australian Government 2018, The impacts of sexual assault on women, Australian Government, accessed 22 March 2018, <https://aifs.gov.au/publications/impacts-sexual-assault-women>

PQDT Open 2018, Economic Consequences of Sexual Violence for Survivors: Implications for Social Policy and Social Change, accessed 22 March 2018, <https://pqdtopen.proquest.com/pqdtopen/doc/1102751005.html?FMT=ABS>  Harvard Kennedy School n.d., Human Rights and Sexual Violence, accessed 22 March 2018, <https://wappp.hks.harvard.edu/human-rights>

 SBS news 2015, Sexual assault: How common is it in Australia?, accessed 22 March 2018, <https://www.sbs.com.au/news/sexual-assault-how-common-is-it-in-australia>

CASA Forum n.d., Fact Sheet: Statistics about Sexual Assault, accessed 22 March 2018, <http://www.casa.org.au/casa_pdf.php?document=statistics>

    Australian Government n.d., Economic cost of violence against women and their children, accessed 22 March 2018, <https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/publications-articles/reducing-violence/national-plan-to-reduce-violence-against-women-and-their-children/economic-cost-of-violence-against-women-and-their-children?HTML>



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