Budget 2016: $46m to support victims and prevent sexual violence

  • Anne Tolley
  • Amy Adams
Social Development Justice Budget 2016

Budget 2016 will invest $46 million of operating funding over four years to better support victims and prevent sexual violence, Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley say.

The $46 million in total funding, of which $6.4 million is reprioritised funding, will be used to design and implement new sexual violence services and maintain existing services.

“The Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence has overseen a work programme to review the current system and look at where funding is needed and where it can deliver the best results for victims,” Ms Adams says.

Mrs Tolley says in the past the sector has been fragmented and has struggled to meet demand.

“We are now investing properly in the right places to ensure there is a long-term plan in place which focuses on prevention, appropriate crisis support for victims, and on-going help to enable victims to try to recover.

“Through Budget 2016 we are funding a more effective integrated national system which delivers the right support and services that can reach more of the people who need them,” Mrs Tolley says.

Additional funding will support:

  • New frontline crisis response for victims – this will focus on trauma management and connecting victims smoothly and efficiently with the appropriate follow-up response. It includes a new 24/7 national advice and support helpline, specialist callout support such as crisis counselling and advocacy services, and follow-up support to access long-term recovery services. Where appropriate, a professional will accompany the victim to Police interviews and medical forensic examinations. The new services will provide a more effective and consistent response in the 72 hours after a sexual assault.
  • Harmful sexual behaviour services – to reduce offending and reoffending, assessment and treatment programmes are provided to those who have committed acts of sexual violence and those at risk of developing harmful behaviour. Capacity is increasing for this service, focusing on adults who pose a risk to children.
  • Services for male survivors of sexual abuse – this ongoing service includes one-to-one peer and group support for male victims, who are less likely than women to engage in recovery services. 

Officials will work closely with agencies in this sector to co-develop and implement the new services, which will be monitored and evaluated.

“Budget 2016 is delivering dedicated long-term funding to fill gaps in the system and to provide services that are tailored to the needs of victims,” says Mrs Tolley.

Development of the work programme announced today took place in parallel with a Social Services Select Committee inquiry into funding of this sector, and the new approach takes into account the recommendations from the select committee.