$12 million boost to fight sexual violence in Queensland
Published Tuesday, 31 July, 2018 at 05:00 PM
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer
The Palaszczuk Government will invest a further $12 million in to new and expanded initiatives across Queensland to fight the scourge of sexual violence.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the investment represented a milestone in its ongoing efforts to tackle the complex and entrenched issue.
“This investment will underpin the next stage of this Government’s commitment to ending sexual violence in this state,” Ms Farmer said.
“We have shown incredible and ongoing commitment to this issue since being elected in 2015, and now we are doubling down on what needs to be done.”
Over the last three years, the Palaszczuk Government has:
- Released the Smallbone report into sexual violence in West Cairns and Aurukun;
- Instituted $1.2 million in initiatives in response to the issues in those communities;
- Increased funding to sexual assault services from $6.1 million in 2014/15 to $10.1 million in 2018/19, plus $3.9 million on tackling child sexual abuse;
- Released the first Queensland Violence Against Women Prevention Plan;
- Delivered the Respectful Relationships program and made it available to every Queensland school;
- Commenced multi-agency service responses in Townsville and on the Gold Coast;
- Commissioned the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee and commenced many of its recommendations;
- Established the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce;
- Received and responded to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;
- Signed up to the National Redress Scheme for institutional victims of child sexual abuse, committing $500 million including $22 million for counselling; and
- Committed $328 million over six years to implement the recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report on domestic and family violence.
Minister Farmer said the reports of the Royal Commission and the Steering Committee contributed to a complex picture of community needs and potential solutions.
“We have done so much, but there is considerably more that we need to do,” Ms Farmer said.
“Our next steps must start with an open conversation with the Queensland people.
“In the age of movements like #metoo and #timesup we cannot stand by while another generation of women and girls lives in fear of sexual attack.
“We cannot accept that indigenous people are twice as likely to suffer sexual violence, or that women and girls with intellectual disabilities have a 90 per cent chance of being assaulted.”
Ms Farmer urged Queenslanders to be part of this difficult conversation and contribute to the solutions.
“We hope this conversation will focus attention on the experiences of women and girls and start to make the change we all need to see,” Ms Farmer said.
“I have faith in Queenslanders that they are up to the challenge of taking part.
“What I am going to do, and what the Government is going to do, is keep having this conversation everywhere it needs to be had.
“That is with the services, professionals and experts who deal with traumatic cases of abuse each and every day.
“It is with families. It is with teachers and nurses and doctors and office workers and unions and businesses.
“Even more vitally, it is with and between young people themselves.”
To help facilitate this vital conversation, Ms Farmer today released the final report of the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee.
“This is another piece in the puzzle, more evidence of the scale of sexual violence in our state and the work we need to build on to put an end to it,” Ms Farmer said.
“It is time now to put this together with the other pieces of the puzzle, such as the Royal Commission report, and work with Queenslanders to end sexual violence.”
Ms Farmer understands that for many Queenslanders who have suffered sexual violence this conversation could be traumatic.
“We hear you. We care about you and we will do everything we can to support you,” Ms Farmer said.
“It is important to know that there are people you can talk to about this.”
Anyone needing to talk to someone urgently can call DVConnect on 1800 811 811.
Media Contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920
Smallbone report – Preventing Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse in West Cairns and Aurukun: https://www.datsip.qld.gov.au/resources/datsima/programs/ysv-report.pdf
Royal Commission final report and Queensland Government response: https://www.thepremier.qld.gov.au/newsroom/royal-commission.aspx
Jones report - Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee final report and response: https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/violence-prevention/sexual-violence-prevention
Queensland Government Progress on Addressing Sexual Violence
- February 2015 – Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland report is delivered.
- July 2015: Announcement of $4.4 million investment over five years from 2015-16 for five services located in Mackay, Moreton Bay, Inala, Ipswich and Redlands to support women who have experienced sexual assault, including assault within an intimate partner relationship.
- June-July 2015 – 15 community leader roundtables held for Not Now, Not Ever consultation.
- August 2015 – Anastacia Palaszczuk announces Queensland Government will implement all 140 recommendations in Not Now, Not Ever Report, and accepts all 121 Government recommendations.
- August-October 2015 – Community collaboration program delivered.
- September 2015 – Additional $1.2 Million in funding provided to DVConnect who also provide a sexual assault line.
- Late 2015 – Premier calls for fast-tracking of Not Now, Not Ever reforms.
- Early 2016 – Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Prevention Strategy 2016-2026 and First Action Plan released.
- Early 2016 – launch of Australia’s first 24/7 social work service in an emergency department to provide support for domestic, family and sexual violence victims.
- February 2016 – Start of roll-out of Respectful Relationships education program across Queensland state schools.
- March 2016 – Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-2021 released with Safety as a key priority area.
- March 2016 - Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse (YSVA) Steering Committee announced.
- Mid-2016 - $198 million DFV Strategy implementation fund announced, bringing total funding over five years to $233.8 million. This funding included investment of $43.1 million over four years from 2016-17 for new and enhanced domestic and family violence services to be directed to existing service gaps, including counselling and support services for victims, children and young people, court based support, sexual assault services, post crisis step-down recovery support, telephone services and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- September 2016 – First YSVA committee report received. Queensland Government accepts all seven recommendations and commits $1.2 million over three years (2017-18) to deliver.
- September 2016 – Launch of First 1000 Days tailored support initiative to support health and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families.
- November 2016- Violence Against Women Prevention Plan 2016-2022 released to tackle all forms of violence against women. Key actions include:
o Partnering with Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety to build an evidence base about the nature of violence;
o $4.4 million for new sexual assault services to support women at Mackay, Moreton Bay, Inala, Ipswich and the Redlands (From 2015-16).
o Introduce legislation to Parliament so that commercial vehicle registration holders who fail to comply with determinations of the Advertising Standards Board will face the prospect of having their registration cancelled (Wicked Campers);
- Late 2016 – Premier hosts COAG National Summit.
- Late 2016 – Second Action Plan (DFV Strategy) released.
- March 2017 – Final Report of YSVA Steering Committee received by Queensland Government.
- March 2017 – Queensland parliament passed the Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 which:
o introduces a sexual assault counselling privilege
o automatically gives victims of a sexual offence the status of special witness if they are to give evidence in a criminal proceeding against the accused
o introduces the Charter of Victims’ Rights and ensures financial assistance will be available for victims of all forms of domestic and family violence.
- Mid-2017 – DCSYW funding of $982,000 announced to facilitate development of multi-agency responses to child and youth sexual abuse.
- 2017 election campaign - Queensland Government commits to creating new offences targeting the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (commonly known as revenge porn).
- Late 2017 - 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board released.
- October 2017 - Funding for Legal Aid to deliver The Sexual Assault Communications Privilege Service (SACPS), helping to protect the privacy of counselling notes and other confidential therapeutic records in criminal proceedings involving sexual offences.
- December 2017 –final report of the Royal Commission in to Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released.
- February 2018 - Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce established.
- April 2018 – Gender Equality Report Card released as part of Queensland Women’s Strategy.
- April 2018 – Queensland opts in to National Redress Scheme and announces $500 million for survivors of child sexual abuse.
- May 2018 – Gold Coast and Townsville trials announced for services to support victims of child sexual abuse and their non-offending family members June 2018 - Queensland Government accepted or supported in principle more than 240 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
- July 2018 – Launched the Counselling Notes Protect service to ensure victims can access free legal help to protect their private counselling sessions from becoming public in court proceedings
- In 2017-18 DCSYW provided funding of $3.4 million across nine child sexual abuse organisations and $8.93 million across 29 sexual assault support services.
- Department has increased investment from $6.07 million per annum across 19 sexual assault service outlets in 2014-15 to $8.93 million across 29 service outlets in 2017-18. This is an increase of $2.86 million – 47 per cent since 2015.
- July 2018 – Budget 2018-19 includes: $10.1 million in sexual assault services
- Queensland is committed to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-22 (National Plan) and is currently contributing to the development of the Fourth Action Plan.
- In late 2018, reporting will be completed on the Violence Against Women Prevention Plan. The VAWPP includes a number of actions relating to sexual violence, including:
o reviewing the Response to sexual assault – Queensland Government Interagency Guidelines for Responding to People who have Experienced Sexual Assault
o considering methods to improve options for collection of forensic evidence available to victims of sexual violence in rural, remote and isolated communities
o support for the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research to strengthen the capacity and capability of organisations delivering sexual violence services.