Victorian children and adults who have experienced sexual assault will have better access to support services. A $1.35 million funding boost is set reduce waiting lists across Victoria’s Centres Against Sexual Assault.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said a priority of the funding is addressing the waitlist of children and young people.
The funding has been designed to provide 17 sexual assault support service providers across Victoria and will deliver services to an extra 815 children, young people and adults.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos stated “We are working to reduce waiting lists for Victorians who have suffered the terrible impacts of sexual assault so they get the timely access to support and appropriate counseling that they need.”
“This vital funding boost will help clear the waiting lists for children and young people to ensure they can access services as soon as possible.”
The funding is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $16 million Family Violence Fund, established to respond to increased demand for services as a result of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Sexual assault support services provide crisis care responses, counselling, casework, group-work, advocacy and a statewide after-hours telephone crisis service for children, young people and adults who have experienced recent or past sexual assault.
Agencies also provide community awareness, education and professional consultation services that work towards the prevention and early identification of sexual assault.
In its first budget the Victorian Labor Government announced an $81.3 million package to boost family violence services, including the establishment of Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence.
The Royal Commission is due to hand down its findings in March 2016.
In 2014, 48,300 Australians aged 18 years and over experienced sexual assault. Females were more likely to experience sexual assault, 41,000 persons, than males – 8,500 persons.