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Queensland Government media release

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.

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