This masterclass focuses on the unique, complex and often significantly retraumatising experience of sexual assault survivors in the NSW Criminal Justice System.

Topics of discussion include:

  • The nature, extent and characteristics of sexual violence
  • NSW sexual assault justice system responses including police, Office of the Department of Public Prosecution, Witness Assistance Service and the Sexual Assault Communications Privilege Service (including how to manage a subpoena)
  • The numerous systemic hurdles, high attrition rates and low guilty verdicts within the criminal justice system for our clients
  • Problematic misconceptions of sexual assault in the criminal justice system including the ‘real rape’ standard, the ‘ideal victim’, the victim blaming paradigm, the lack of trauma informed practice and the subsequent significant risk of retraumatisation
  • The challenging role for therapists in preparing and supporting clients with reporting to police, through the criminal proceedings and the aftermath including managing expectations, emotional/psychological/practical preparation and then managing the likelihood of a poor outcome (not guilty outcome or inadequate sentencing)

Date: Tuesday 25th October 2022

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Cost: $80

Online masterclass: A zoom link will be provided a few days prior to the workshop.


Rachel Moss, Clinical Social Worker at the Birchtree Centre

Rachel (she/her) is a passionate human rights and social justice advocate with an extensive work history as a counsellor, manager, trainer and educator in sexual assault, higher education and mental health settings. A career highlight so far has been working at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as a senior counsellor.

Rachel has a social work degree and a Master’s degree in counselling, and is proficient and highly experienced in various counselling modalities including dialectical behavioural therapy, narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, group work and clinical supervision. Rachel’s practice is built on the principles of client focussed collaboration and empowerment.

Rachel has over 20 years clinical experience working with people of all cultures, genders and ages affected by trauma. This includes developmental, single incident, and complex trauma. She also works with clients who are struggling with gender and identity issues, self harm, depression and anxiety, relationship and sexuality issues, grief and loss and interpersonal issues. Rachel has firsthand experience of the healing that is possible in the counselling space.

Kate Turner, Clinical Social Worker at the Birchtree Centre

Kate is passionate about working with her clients to facilitate recovery and healing from the effects of trauma and adversity in their varied forms. She works in partnership with her clients, and tailors the therapeutic process to the needs of the individual.

Kate began her career working in a broad range of NSW Health mental health clinical settings with individuals and groups who had experienced significant impacts of mental illness, substance abuse and childhood adversity. In her first decade in clinical practice, her interest in working with people who had experienced complex trauma emerged. Kate then developed specialist skills, knowledge and experience in working with individuals who had experienced recent sexual assault and/or earlier life sexual, emotional and physical abuse, via counselling and management roles within a trauma-specialised NSW Health service.

She later gained extensive and invaluable knowledge and experience in understanding broad individual and systemic responses to trauma, working as a senior counsellor for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.