A podcast about understanding sexual crime

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 17:36

Victoria Police are proud to launch a new six-part podcast to help improve the community’s understanding of sexual crime as part of National Child Protection Week. 

This weekly podcast series titled Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime challenges preconceived ideas of sexual offending through interviews with victims, their loved ones and the Victoria Police detectives who managed their investigations. The free episodes will be released weekly on SoundCloud and iTunes.

While the latest statistics showed that more than 3000 children were victims of sexual offences last year, Family Violence Assistant Commissioner Dean McWhirter said sexual violence is often under-reported.

“Sexual offences and child abuse are often poorly understood, which has a negative impact on the willingness of victims to come forward and seek help,” AC McWhirter said. “Through this podcast series, I hope we can encourage more victims to report to police, let them know the support available to them around the process, and to challenge some common myths and misconceptions about sexual offences and child abuse.”

Each episode explores a key theme – reporting, investigating, victim reactions, offender behaviour, online grooming and future directions. All episodes feature a victim-survivor of child sexual abuse or a family member who has bravely shared their story.

AC McWhirter said Victoria Police has a come a long way in its responses to sexual offences and child abuse over the past 10 years. “Through the establishment of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCIT), Multidisciplinary Centres and the whole story investigative framework, we now provide a specialist, victim-centric response,” AC McWhirter said. 

“The podcasts highlight the important and challenging work our passionate SOCIT members do to support victims every day. The bringing together of victim, detective and specialist voices in this podcast series is very powerful as it demonstrates our commitment to providing a response to sexual offences and child abuse that is evidence based and victim focused.”

Subscribe on iTunes to get notified each time a new podcast is available. In addition to the podcast, Victoria Police will be sharing a range of information to help increase the community’s awareness of child sexual abuse throughout National Child Protection Week.

Please note: transcriptions of each episode will be available on this page soon.



Next week Victoria Police will be releasing a special episode of the ‘Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime’ podcast to directly address questions from the public. If the series has raised any questions around a topic of sexual crime that have not yet been addressed in the series to date, this is your chance to ask an experienced SOCIT Detective. 

Submit your questions either in the comments section below. 

Unspeakable will resume on Monday 2 October with episode 4.



Episode 00 - Preview   iTunes ⎮Soundcloud  Published: 02/09/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:03:40
Unspeakable is a podcast produced by Victoria Police. It offers a rare glimpse into real-life cases and the people behind them. Over six episodes, you'll hear from investigators, experts, victim-survivors, bringing their stories out from the shadows and into the light reality. Episodes will be released each Monday on iTunes and Soundcloud.



Episode 01  - Reporting   iTunesSoundcloud  Published: 05/09/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:29:49
In the first episode of Unspeakable we explore what's involved in reporting sexual offences to police. The reporting of sexual crime has increased significantly in Victoria over the last six years, but there is still a long way to go in shifting the way we think about this sort of crime. ​




Episode 02   - Investigating    iTunesSoundcloud  Published: 11/09/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:26:25
In the second instalment of our six-part series about understanding sexual crime, we discuss what happens beyond that initial report, from the perspective of an investigator and a victim. We also look at how police members become detectives in the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team and the specialist knowledge that's required to investigate sexual crimes.



Episode 03   - Reactions    iTunesSoundcloud  Published: 18/09/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:22:14
Historically people have wrongly assumed that victims would resist, fight back or have injuries from a sexual assault or rape. Research and victim accounts tell us otherwise, turning on their head any notions of 'typical' or 'normal' reactions. In this episode, we speak with a senior researcher for ANROWS about a 2013 study conducted by VicHealth, Carolyn Worth for SECASA, Dandenong SOCIT Detective, Joanne McDonald and Di, a victim-survivor who was tragically abused by her father from the age of nine.



Bonus Episode   iTunesSoundcloud  Published: 25/09/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:06:30
A number of questions have come up as a result of Unspeakable and to help answer them we spoke with Inspector Everett Moutsidis from the Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Team. The next episode of Unspeakable will be released on Monday 2 October.





Episode 04   - Grooming   iTunesSoundcloud  Published: 04/10/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:20:04
Sexual offending is overwhelmingly a relationship-based crime and resistance from victims happens far less than many people thing. A common reason for this is grooming. In this episode we learn of Lucy's story. She was sadly abused by her step-father from the age of eight. We also speak with William Wainwright, a forensic psychologist, to learn more about how offenders control and manipulate their victims into compliance and silence.



Episode 05   -  Online Grooming   iTunesSoundcloud Published: 08/10/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:20:15
Technology is now part of our daily lives. We use it to search, learn and connect with others but how is this increased accessibility impacting on people in the community who may be vulnerable? In this episode we look at offenders who use digital platforms to groom and offend against their victims. We learn about the work of Victoria Police's Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team who play a critical role in investigating these crimes. We also speak with Frank, a father whose daughter was the victim of online grooming to an older man who she met in a gaming environment.




Episode 06   -  Future Directions  iTunesSoundcloud Published: 08/11/2017 ⎮ Duration: 00:26:03
In the last episode of Unspeakable, we look at the various preventative programs that are being implemented by Victoria Police. We speak with police members and partners about the introduction of Multidisciplinary Centres, the Enhanced Response Model to Child Sexual Exploitation which is aimed at protecting at-risk children and the Knox SOCIT's local body safety awareness education program.





Resources and support

If you have reported a sexual crime to Victoria Police - or you are a family members of someone who has reported – and would like help and advice from experienced, empathetic professionals, please consider contacting:

  • CASA Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL): for counselling, advice and information as a victim of sexual offences (or family member of a victim), male and female (24 hours) 1800 806 292
  • Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre (24 hours) for women and children: 24 hour support 1800 015 188 or 9322 3555
  • Switchboard: assistance for LGBTQI people and their friends, families and allies  1800184527
  • Victims of Crime Help Line:  for male victims of family violence (7 days, 8am-11pm) 1800 819 817


Reporting to police

If you wish to report a sexual crime to police, always call Police on Triple Zero (000) for immediate assistance, or call and/or attend your local police station.

To learn more about what your options are if you choose to talk to police, please see the booklet “Reporting sexual assault to Police” on the Victoria Police Website.   

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