An extra 2,800 survivors of sexual assault across Victoria will receive crisis support and counselling as a result of a five-million dollar funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams announced the new funding during a visit to Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) today.
Nineteen services state-wide, including 14 CASAs, will receive funds to meet increased demand and better support children, young people and adults who have experienced sexual assault.
Recent figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency show that reports to police of sex offences against children have almost tripled between 2009 and 2018, while recent media coverage has raised community awareness of sexual assault and triggered a spike in demand from support services.
Ballarat CASA will receive counselling and support for an extra 400 survivors of sexual abuse over two years.
The $5 million funding boost will help services meet a surge in demand from:
- New referrals disclosing institutional or familial abuse for the first time
- Previous clients who are re-referring
- Increased referrals by other support services
- New referrals from individuals who have lost family members to suicide.
Sexual Assault Support Services provide crisis intervention, information, counselling, advocacy and coordination of support with child protection, police, forensic and healthcare workers.
Anyone impacted by sexual assault can access information on specialist support services at services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sexual-assault-support-services.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams
“These are abhorrent crimes and what has happened to these people can never be taken back.”
“For too long, victim survivors of abuse have not been heard – we are changing that by providing them with the extra support and help that they so strongly need and deserve.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong MP Michaela Settle
“Victims and their families need help to deal with these terrible crimes – it’s great to hear that more people in Ballarat will be supported by a range of services.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree MP Juliana Addison
“Our thoughts are with the people who were abused – we hope these extra services will provide victims with the support they need to report sexual assault.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020