Sexual Violence Action plan launched
Queensland Government media release
The Queensland Government has released a new whole-of-government action plan as part of an ongoing commitment to prevent and respond to all forms of sexual violence in the community.
Announcing the action plan in Parliament during Sexual Violence Awareness Month Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said everyone deserves to live in a society free from the threat of sexual violence.
“In October 2019, we launched Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland’s Framework to address Sexual Violence and today we are launching the action plan that sets out our new and continuing initiatives to continue our work to end sexual violence in Queensland,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Despite the impacts of COVID-19, the Queensland Government has continued it’s efforts to implement strategies outlined in the Framework.
“These include the implementation of respectful relationships education in Queensland schools, police sexual violence liaison officers, creation of a new offence of failure to report child sexual abuse and additional funding for services to meet the increased demand since the pandemic.
“And since 2015 we have invested record funding of more than $600 million dollars for domestic, family and sexual violence programs, services and strategies.
“The new Sexual Violence Prevention Action Plan 2021-2022 builds on this work and sets out our plan to promote respect in our communities, support victims and hold perpetrators to account.”
“I am also pleased to announce $150,000 in funding for the Queensland Sexual Assault Network (QSAN) to support them in undertaking their secretariat function across the network of specialist sexual assault services.
“These services wouldn’t be able to operate if it wasn’t for the incredible front-line workers who provide assistance to victims across Queensland.”
The Queensland Sexual Assault Network’s (QSAN) secretariat Miranda Clarke welcomed today’s funding announcement.
“Over the last few years we have seen growing demand for QSAN specialist counselling and support services, especially since the pandemic and increasing discussions of sexual violence in the media,” Ms Clarke said.
“This funding will be a welcomed boost to help the QSAN continue to provide specialised knowledge and consultation on issues of sexual violence, to raise community awareness about sexual violence and to advocate for survivors”.
Actions for 2021-22 include:
- Identifying and implementing training on preventing and responding to sexual violence for frontline staff including health and disability services staff.
- Supporting implementation of the recommendations of the [email protected] report as relevant to the Queensland jurisdiction.
- Promoting sexual violence prevention resources and training for carers and disability support providers.
- Exploring options for specialised court support for sexual violence victims in criminal proceedings.
- Reviewing current domestic and family violence behaviour change programs for adolescents and men to ensure programs address intimate partner sexual violence.
- Continuing delivery and evaluation of youth sexual violence and abuse initiatives.
Minister Fentiman said it is important that those impacted by sexual assault, rape or other forms of sexual violence know there are help and support options available.
“Everyone deserves to be safe from sexual violence. It is not your fault and you are not to blame,” she said.
“Sexual violence impacts all parts of the community however we know that women and children are disproportionally effected and represent the overwhelming majority of victims.
“Tragically around one in five Australian women over the age of 15 has experienced sexual assault and this number is probably even higher as it it’s an offence that still remains greatly underreported.”
Minister Fentiman said the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce is considering women and girls’ experiences across the criminal justice system and is due to provide its final report to Government on these issues by June 2022.
“So far, the Taskforce has received over 700 submissions from women and girls who have bravely shared their experiences and perspectives,” she said.
“I encourage women and girls who have experienced sexual violence to continue to make submissions to help the Taskforce understand how we can better support victims and hold perpetrators to account.”