Added: March 7, 2015 – Last updated: March 4, 2017


Authors: Lisa Featherstone and Amanda Kaladelfos

Title: Hierarchies of Harm and Violence

Subtitle: Historicising Familial Sexual Violence in Australia

Journal: Australian Feminist Studies

Volume: 29

Issue: 81

Year: September 2014 (Published online: October 23, 2014)

Pages: 306-324

ISSN: 0816-4649 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1465-3303 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Oceanian History: Australian History | Offenders: Fathers; Prosecution: Trials / Carnal Knowledge; Types: Child Sexual Abuse, Incestual Rape; Victims: Daughters


Links: (Free Access)

EBSCOhost (Restricted Access)

Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)



Lisa Featherstone, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of

Andy Kaladelfos, Griffith Criminology Institute , Griffith, ResearchGate

Abstract: »This article interrogates the prosecution of familial sexual crimes in 1950s Australia, a decade where the family was considered the bedrock of society. Using criminal trial transcripts from the period, we analyse how offenders, victims, families, lawyers and judges understood familial sexual abuse. We examine the contours of cases heard by New South Wales (NSW) higher courts in the 1950s, analysing three important themes: conceptualisations of the harm and violence in familial abuse; the relationship between offenders’ explanations of familial abuse and the gender dynamics of the family and how financial constraints on women in the family impeded reporting of sexual abuse.« (Source: Australian Feminist Studies)


  Abstract (p. 306)
  Sexual Violence and the Family (p. 307)
  Historical Court Transcripts (p. 309)
  Familial Sexual Assault and the Law (p. 309)
  Conepts of Violence and Harm (p. 313)
  To Disgrace and Discredit: Fathers in the Courtroom (p. 315)
  Economic Survival: Challenges to Reporting Sexual Abuse (p. 319)
  Conclusion: Sex and the Family (p. 321)
  Note (p. 321)
  References (p. 321)

Wikipedia: History of Oceania: History of Australia / History of Australia since 1945 | Sex and the law: Carnal knowledge, Child sexual abuse, Incest