The Morrison Government will conduct an open competitive procurement process to secure a provider to deliver Australia’s sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service to meet increasing demand and provide the highest quality support.
Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said 1800RESPECT provides a critical service to support to anyone who has experienced or is at risk of family violence and sexual assault as well as their family, friends and support workers.
“Tragically in Australia every two minutes police are called to a domestic and family violence matter and every day 12 women are hospitalised,” Minister Ruston said.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring 1800RESPECT is able to continue providing the highest quality support for all Australians affected by domestic, family and sexual violence.”
Demand for 1800RESPECT has grown rapidly since it started operating in 2010 when it was estimated the service would receive 20,000 calls each year. During the 2018-19 financial year 1800RESPECT responded to more than 163,000 phone and online contacts – a 66 per cent increase from the previous year.
“1800RESPECT is a valued and quality counselling service but the Government recognises there is a need to better support callers with complex presentations,” Minister Ruston said.
The tender details will be published on the AusTender www.tenders.gov.au today, with Expressions of Interest open from 30 March to 30 April 2020.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to respond to a Request for Tender with an announcement about the successful tenderer expected in late 2020.
The Department of Social Services will work closely with the current provider to ensure 1800RESPECT continues to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the procurement process and any resulting transition.
The Government commissioned an evaluation of 1800RESPECT which can be accessed at www.plan4womenssafety.dss.gov.au/resources/research.