Community-led sexual violence and prevention work: Utilising a Transformative Justice framework.


  • Rebecca Howe University of Sydney


This paper explores community-led groups working to bring about responses to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Three case studies are presented here to highlight the valuable work undertaken by such groups and contribute to the literature on sexual violence education and prevention. The aim is to give prominence to points of connection between those who undertake this work on a grassroots, community-led level and those within the social work profession, operating in the community welfare sector. The case studies explore how a Transformative Justice framework is utilised within community-led groups, Philly Stands Up (PSU), Transformative Justice Camp and Undercurrent. They reveal how the concept of Transformative Justice can provide both a theoretical and practice framework for sexual assault and intimate partner violence responses and prevention. Through the exploration of a Transformative Justice framework, this paper uncovers work by these groups to implement an alternative model of justice to the current structural response to sexualised violence. It includes a particular focus on the interconnected nature of community-led, anti-violence and prison abolition work. Due to the disproportionate rates of incarceration and the impact of interpersonal violence on Indigenous peoples in settler-colonial states, notably North America and Australia, this paper also includes an exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and peer-led groups engaged in this work. A Transformative Justice framework, as utilised by community-led groups whose work challenges interpersonal and state violence, endeavours to transform the conditions that create, or that allow violence to happen.


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