The Palaszczuk Government is investing more than $7.7 million over three years to support young Queenslanders affected by sexual violence.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said organisations in five locations across Queensland would share in the investment.
“October is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and it’s an opportunity for all of us to show support for survivors and to stand together against all forms of sexual violence,” Ms Farmer said.
“Sexual violence affects one in six young women before the age of fifteen, and the effects can be profound and lifelong.
“That’s why young people need well-funded services to provide intensive support and help survivors overcome trauma.
“The Palaszczuk Government has shown incredible commitment on this issue, and this funding continues our ongoing support for vital services for survivors.”
Ms Farmer said the theme of this year’s Sexual Violence Awareness Month was ‘Start by Believing’.
“Sexual violence is pervasive and underreported, and too many victims think they can’t come forward,” she said.
“Start by Believing is about ending the cycle of silence and overcoming the barriers that prevent survivors from reporting sexual violence.
“The Palaszczuk government is here to say to young victims of sexual violence that you are not alone.
“We believe you, and you can come forward.”
Ms Farmer said that a further $3.3 million has been committed to the development of three place-based trials to respond to young people who have experienced sexual violence or who are engaging in early sexual behaviour in high need locations.
“The locations of the trials are yet to be determined but will be located in high need areas,” she said.
Ms Farmer said youth support services are one of the priority areas highlighted in the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Final Report, released in March 2017.
“The report found that youth sexual violence and abuse is a state-wide issue, affecting people in urban, regional and remote communities in Queensland,” she said.
“The report found that communities most affected by youth sexual violence and abuse also experienced a higher rate of social, economic and intergenerational disadvantage – and we need to break this cycle.”
Ms Farmer said sadly, the report also highlighted that young women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely to be affected by sexual violence.
“This is why one of the place-based trials will be specifically supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.”
Per annum funding for organisations:
- Act for Kids (Gladstone) – $400,000;
- Act for Kids (Rockhampton) – $470,000;
- Darumbal Community Youth Service – $40,000;
- Domestic Violence Action Centre (Toowoomba) – $100,000;
- KYC Consulting (Moreton Bay) – $50,000;
- Laurel Place (Moreton Bay) – $210,000;
- Laurel Place (South Burnett) – $900,000;
- Mercy Community Services SEQ (Toowoomba) – $320,000;
- Roseberry Community Services (Gladstone) – $30,000;
- Women’s Health Awareness Group (Gladstone) – $60,000; and
- Women’s Health Information and Referral Service (Rockhampton) – $80,000.