In this paper, researchers investigate the social impact of water restrictions on households in the Ballarat and District Water Supply System. They present a general framework for evaluating the social impact of water restrictions which centres on perceptions of economic circumstances, health and well-being and community character and cohesion. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, researchers confirm that existing water restrictions are indeed having an impact, although the extent of that impact varies along key dimensions. Researchers also identify underlying drivers of attitudes towards water restrictions, namely the direct impact of water restrictions on the household, and beliefs regarding the equitable application of restrictions across the community. The research findings are significant at a number of levels. At the local level, they provide water resource practitioners and policy makers with systematic data on which to base future water resource decisions and the communication messages and support strategies that accompany such decisions. More broadly, the findings shed light on an issue of critical national importance and they contribute to our theoretical knowledge of its impacts and complexities, and strategies for measurement.
It is an interesting contrast. On the one hand society has never been so aware and conscious of child sexual abuse and sexual violence against women and children, but despite this awareness the degree of denial, victim blaming, prejudice and ignorance around sexual abuse continues to pose challenges for those affected by such violence and those who work and research in this field (Taylor, 2002). This paper is concerned with identifying and articulating some of these ongoing challenges within a rural domain. Given both the author’s grass-roots involvement, activism and professional work in the field of sexual assault against women and children, this paper draws on relevant research literature concerned with sexual violence and rural communities, before utilising a case study and vignettes obtained either directly from victim/ survivors1 or from the author’s research in issues of sexual assault. It is my intention to bring together a small sample of experiences relating to sexual violence within rural domains to elucidate the very real and ongoing challenges that face those victim/survivors.