Queenslanders unite to raise awareness of sexual violence

Queenslanders have joined together to raise awareness and publicly voice their support for victims and survivors of sexual violence during a busy Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said it was heart-warming to see so many Queenslanders take part in activities and events around the state and to stand together against all forms of sexual violence.

“The statistics around sexual violence show that we all know someone who’s been affected, so it’s been very encouraging to see everyday Queenslanders taking the opportunity to talk about sexual violence, how we respond to it, and importantly how we prevent it,” she said.

“There have been Reclaim the Night and Candle Lighting ceremonies, major landmarks and buildings lit up in teal all over the state, music concerts, workshops and coffees for a cause – so many ways that people have got involved and shown their support.

“I had the honour of opening an exhibition during the month called ‘What Were You Wearing’, which showed representations of items of clothing worn by victims at the time they were assaulted.

“It was incredibly powerful – people cried when they saw it. Importantly, it challenged the myth that it is somehow the victims fault simply because of what they were wearing.”

Earlier in the month, Ms Farmer took part in the national Women’s Safety Minister’s meeting, which brought together Ministers from the Commonwealth and each state and territory.

“I raised the issue of domestic and sexual violence against women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as something that needs to be on the national agenda,” she said.

“I’m pleased to say that every state and territory government are working towards a common solution, and I look forward to seeing some constructive actions coming out of that.”

Ms Farmer said this year’s theme, Start by Believing, encouraged support for people affected by sexual violence by saying the words “I believe you”.

“Earlier this month the Queensland Government backed this message by launching the state’s first ever Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland’s Framework to address Sexual Violence,” she said.

“I was proud to launch this framework at Parliament House surrounded by people who have experienced sexual violence, representatives from support services and the sector, and Queenslanders who joined with us to reaffirm this government’s commitment to a Queensland where everyone can live free of the fear, threat of experience of sexual violence.”

Ms Farmer said the framework brought together existing efforts and outlined a number of new initiatives which will further embed the government’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual violence throughout the state.

“We are certainly seeing a rising community-led movement against gender inequality and all forms of violence in our homes and our communities,” she said.

“The message is clear – Queenslanders will not tolerate sexual violence of any kind against women, men, children or young people, and perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.”

Ms Farmer also reminded community groups and organisations applications are now open for a share of $100,000 in grant funding for prevention activities to raise awareness in their communities during Sexual Violence Prevention Month in October next year.

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