Queensland Government media release

Sexual assault victims in Townsville will continue to have access to 24/7 support, with a funding boost for the North Queensland Combined Women’s Services, known as the Women’s Centre.

The Women’s Centre will receive $340,000 per year for the next two years, so they can continue to take part in the region’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) pilot, which provides crisis and emergency support.

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Women’s Centre already did great work supporting women, and the funding will allow this help to continue.

“At a time where people can feel incredibly lonely and scared, the Sexual Assault Response Team can provide access to crisis counselling and support 24 hours a day,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“There is immediate support available to those in need, either over the phone or face to face at a local hospital or police station.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said these funds would help connect victims of sexual assault to the support and services they need.  

"This is an incredibly traumatic time for victims and we want to make sure they have the help they need," Ms Fentiman said. 

"That includes access to medical support and information, dedicated counselling and information about their legal options."

The Women's Centre Coordinator Catherine Crawford welcomed the funding decision.

“It means there will be continued 24 hours service response to victims of sexual assault in the region,” Ms Crawford said.

“We hope this pilot project will be evaluated thoroughly and we look forward to continuing to work alongside with our partners from Townsville Sexual Crime Unit - Queensland Police and Townsville Hospital.”

SART is delivered as a partnership between the North Queensland Combined Women’s Services, Queensland Police Service and Queensland Health.

For information on support for sexual assault victims contact the state-wide Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm 7 days a week) or The Women’s Centre on 4775 7555.

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