Melbourne: An extra 2,800 survivors of sexual assault across Victoria will receive crisis support and counselling as a result of a five-million dollar funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams announced the new funding during a visit to Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) today.
Nineteen services state-wide, including 14 CASAs, will receive funds to meet increased demand and better support children, young people and adults who have experienced sexual assault.
Recent figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency show that reports to police of sex offences against children have almost tripled between 2009 and 2018, while recent media coverage has raised community awareness of sexual assault and triggered a spike in demand from support services.
Ballarat CASA will receive counselling and support for an extra 400 survivors of sexual abuse over two years.
The $5 million funding boost will help services meet a surge in demand from:
- New referrals disclosing institutional or familial abuse for the first time
- Previous clients who are re-referring
- Increased referrals by other support services
- New referrals from individuals who have lost family members to suicide.
Sexual Assault Support Services provide crisis intervention, information, counselling, advocacy and coordination of support with child protection, police, forensic and healthcare workers.
Anyone impacted by sexual assault can access information on specialist support services at services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/sexual-assault-support-services.