Take a stand this Sexual Violence Awareness Month

Published Wednesday, 04 October, 2023 at 04:17 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • October is Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM), an annual event to raise awareness about the impacts of sexual violence, the support available and further educate Queensland communities
  • Everyone deserves to be safe from violence and we all have a role to play in ending sexual violence.

Queenslanders are being encouraged to take a stand against sexual violence in our communities throughout October as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath on Wednesday acknowledged the important work of many in the community to increase awareness of sexual violence and the support organisations provide to victim-survivors, while attending a community event with the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence Inc.

Throughout October, organisations will host events and activities to raise awareness about the impacts of sexual violence and the support available to victims, while also promoting what Queenslanders’ can do to help end sexual abuse.

In Queensland, more than 85 per cent of sexual assault victims were women and more than half of victims were under the age of 18 at the time of the assault, according to 2022 data, compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sexual violence can have long-lasting impacts on the health and wellbeing of victim-survivors, and trauma can have a ripple effect on their families, supporters and the community.

The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $1.5 billion to combat domestic, family and sexual violence and improve women’s safety since 2015.

Large-scale reform is currently being implemented through the Government’s $225 million response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce Report Two recommendations, which places victim-survivors at the centre of the response to sexual violence.

The Palaszczuk Government is also putting victims front and centre and has recently appointed an interim Victims’ Commissioner to listen and support those impacted by crime to ensure their voices are heard.

Additionally, the government is upgrading courts in 81 locations aimed at lessening the trauma for victims when giving evidence in court.

Additional planning is underway to establish a state-wide model for a victim advocacy service aimed at reducing barriers to reporting sexual assault and empowering victim survivors.

More information about Sexual Violence Awareness Month events can be found by visiting: www.qld.gov.au/svamonth.

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“I want to thank those in the sector, who in 1996 saw a need to increase awareness of sexual violence in Queensland.

“The only way we can end sexual violence in our society is to shine a light on its existence and the impact it has on victims and the community.

“Sexual Violence Awareness Month is an important time for the sector and the community to come together to raise awareness, to inspire action, and to spark further change.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ending all violence, which is why we continue to invest in initiatives that support victims and hold perpetrators to account.

“However, we know we have more work to do to shift culture and beliefs that lead to all forms of violence against women.

“I’d like to personally thank the many hard working and dedicated not-for-profit organisations and services across the state that are the first point of contact for victim-survivors and provide them with a voice as we continue to listen and implement needed reform in our criminal justice system.

“I urge all Queenslanders to connect with events and initiatives taking place in their communities during Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

“Collectively we can take action and create a safer and more inclusive Queensland community, where every individual can live free from the trauma of sexual violence.”

Further information:

If you have been impacted by sexual violence, it is important to know it’s not your fault and there are a range of support options available:

  • If you are in immediate danger, phone Triple Zero (000) and ask for Police.
  • You can phone the Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week).
  • Find more information on sexual violence via www.qld.gov.au/SexualViolence