Queensland Government media release
Queenslanders are being urged to show their support for victims of sexual assault and stand together to say no to violence in the community.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said Sexual Violence Awareness Month provided an important opportunity to raise awareness of sexual violence and abuse in Queensland communities.
“Sexual Violence Awareness Month is held during October each year and serves as an important reminder to all Queenslanders that violence of any kind – including sexual assault or the threat of sexual violence – is totally unacceptable,” she said.
“And importantly, it is also an opportunity to let those affected by sexual violence and abuse know that they are not alone and that they have our full support.
“Sexual violence affects both men and women, and as a community we have a responsibility to support all people affected.
“However, we know that 1 in 5 women in Australia has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
“There are a number of awareness-raising activities and community events occurring across the state throughout October including Candle Lighting Ceremonies to acknowledge the strength and courage of sexual violence survivors, awareness-raising breakfasts and workshops.
“I urge all Queenslanders to show their support and attend an event in their local area because together, we can send the clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated in our communities.”
“I will be hosting the Sexual Violence, Consent and the Law Symposium on Thursday 5 October at Parliament House, which officially marks the start of Sexual Violence Awareness Month.”
Ms Fentiman said the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that the number of sexual assault victims in Queensland has increased for the fifth consecutive year – to around 4350 in 2016.
“These figures are more than just alarming - they also signal the need to continue to provide vital support to victims of sexual assault and work hard to put an end to this type of violence in our communities,” she said.
“That’s why the Queensland Government has increased investment in community based sexual assault services from $6.24 million per annum across 19 services in 2015 to $8.37 million across 27 current services in 2017.
“These services provide free and confidential counselling and support.
“In addition, we knowthere are strong links between domestic violence and sexual assault and we are working hard to address these issues as part of our efforts to stop all forms of violence against women.
“These efforts are supported by the 2016-2017 State Budget which included funding of $43.1 million over four years to address critical gaps in domestic and family violence service delivery, including sexual assault services.
“This is part of the Government’s investment of $323.1 million over six years to implement the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence.”
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