Toowoomba: have your say on sexual violence prevention
Published Monday, 15 April, 2019 at 10:30 AM
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer
The Palaszczuk Government is calling on the Toowoomba community to have their say on how best to prevent sexual violence.
Speaking at a forum in Toowoomba Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said by having their say, the community can help to develop a Sexual Violence Prevention Framework in Queensland.
“The statistics around sexual violence in Australia are just appalling,” she said.
“One in five women over the age of fifteen has experienced sexual assault, and one in twenty men.
“If you are a woman with an intellectual disability, there’s a ninety percent chance you’ve been assaulted.
“Sexual violence covers a spectrum from sexual harassment, technology facilitated abuse, right through to sexual assault and rape.
“What we’re hearing as we go through this process, is that everyone knows someone, everyone knows more than one person who’s been affected, and yet seventy percent of assaults go unreported.
“We need to start having a conversation about this, and victims and survivors need to know there is support out there.
“The forum is a great opportunity to have your say about what services you think government and non-government services should be providing, and how you think they could all be working better together.
“What do you want us to know that can change the way we talk about sexual violence, or how we can prevent it?”
Ms Farmer said that in addition to the open two hour forum, there would also be a closed forum just for victims and survivors to have their say.
“Some victims and survivors might not walk to talk in public, even in a closed group, so we have an online survey as well where you can provide your feedback, or you can email us directly.
“We also have a youth eHub where young people aged between 13 to 25 can talk to us in a safe space.
“You don’t need to write some kind of formal submission or anything like that – we just what to hear what you think, however you want to tell us.”
Gabrielle Borggaard, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Centre which provides sexual violence prevention services in Toowoomba, said the forum offered a crucial opportunity for the local community to have their say.
“This forum also gives people impacted by sexual violence trauma a space to share their views of how the system can better support them,” she said.
“The existence and impact of sexual violence is an issue we cannot ignore and the views of the local Toowoomba community need to be heard when developing ways to not only respond to it, but also prevent it.”
Ms Farmer said the Sexual Violence Prevention Framework would provide a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to sexual violence and bring together sexual violence prevention work happening across the government.
“We are already doing quite a lot in this space, including funding sexual assault services and rolling out the Respectful Relationships program across all our state schools,” she said.
“We are absolutely determined to do everything we can to prevent sexual violence, and to provide the support that victims and survivors need.
“That’s why we’re developing this Sexual Violence Prevention Framework, but to make sure it’s effective and does what we need it to do, we need to hear from everyone.
“Sometimes the people who can tell us most about what we need to be doing, what services need to link up better, what actually helps, are people who have been affected by sexual violence in some way.”
Ms Farmer said the state’s new Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable, consisting of representatives from the community and the sector, academic experts and senior government representatives, recently met for the first time.
Written submissions can be emailed to email@example.com
Further information on the consultation and framework can be found at: www.csyw.qld.gov.au/violence-prevention/sexual-violence-prevention
For more information about support for people affected by sexual assault or abuse go to www.qld.gov.au/community/getting-support-health-social-issue/sexual-abuse-assault
The survey and submissions close on 30 April, 2019.
You can follow the conversation on social media at #endsexualviolence.
Media contact: Cat Milton 0447 117 132