Epistemic justice through dialogue: Dignifying public testimony by child sexual abuse survivors
Ms Rebecca West1, Dr Michael Salter
1University Of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Drawing on interviews with adult survivors of child sexual abuse who made submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, we describe the ways that dignity and epistemic justice in public testimony can be reparative; with regard to both the personal, psychological injuries of child sexual abuse, and the injuries to citizenship and subjecthood incurred through epistemic injustice, marginalisation, and dignity violations. We provide a grounded and practical overview of the environments and processes that can facilitate epistemic justice and dignity, and reflect on the possibilities for purposeful engagement with epistemic justice and dignity in the criminal justice system.
Rebecca Moran is a PhD candidate at University of New South Wales, freelance consultant, and research officer at Curtin University. Her research explores public testimony and political participation by adult survivors of child sexual abuse, and how this relates to personal healing, public dialogue, and social change. Dr Michael Salter is the Scientia Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of New South Wales. He is advisor to the Australian eSafety Commissioner, White Ribbon Australia and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.