Increasing support for sexual assault survivors

19 March 2018 | Family violence | Mental health

The Royal Women’s Hospital’s CASA House and Sexual Assault Crisis Line are to receive an additional $270,000 to provide more staff to support women and men who have experienced sexual assault and violence.

The Women’s Executive Director of Allied Health and Clinical Support Services Sandra Gates said the funding would be used to employ new counsellor advocates to meet the growing demand for people seeking sexual assault support services.

“We’ve had a significant increase in the number of victim survivors seeking to access the Sexual Assault Crisis Line and CASA House services and this funding will be utilised to meet that demand,” she said.

Public information and campaigns relating to the Royal Commission, #MeToo movement and family violence are believed to be the drivers behind the rise in the numbers of people approaching the services for support.

Director for the Women’s Centre for Mental Health at the Women’s, Professor Louise Newman said:

“The effects of abuse and trauma can be significant and long term. This life-long impact of trauma and the effects on quality of life were highlighted during the Royal Commission in particular,” Professor Newman said. “Increasing resources will allow greater support for recovery and vital work to prevent ongoing difficulties for people who have experienced sexual assault.”

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said:

“I hope this additional support gives some comfort and assistance to survivors on their journey of healing – we don’t want them braving it alone.”

“We stand with victim-survivors and ensuring services are well resourced to provide assistance, wherever and whenever it’s needed.”

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Natalie Hutchins said;

“We want a Victoria that’s free from family violence, where every person feels safe where they live, work or play – this funding helps us move towards that.”