Sexual Violence Liaison Officers to be established state-wide

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

The Queensland Police Service is further enhancing the delivery of a victim-centric response to victims of sexual violence, with the introduction of the role of a Police Sexual Violence Liaison Officer.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the initiative was part of a broader strategy developed by the Queensland Police Service to respond to the needs of sexual violence victims.

“In a first for Queensland, the QPS has developed a Sexual Violence Response Strategy 2021-2023,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Our aim is to empower the community and to reduce harm through engagement, education and by providing enhanced access to victim support services.

“In other policing initiatives to protect and support victims, the QPS has partnered with the University of Queensland in the delivery of a trauma-informed training program to assist police in their dealings with victims of sexual assault.

“An over-arching Sexual Violence Prevention Working Group is in place to lead and inform the overall police response to sexual violence.

“Police have also developed an online sexual assault reporting form, including informal and formal reporting options, as an alternate reporting avenue for victims of sexual violence.

“Police recognise the process of reporting a sexual assault can be a confronting and difficult experience, which is why these additional ways of contacting police have been introduced.

“We want the community to know sexual violence is never okay. To anyone who has experienced an assault, police will listen, we will explain the reporting options available and respect your wishes, your privacy and your health and safety needs, regardless of when the offending occurred.”

Police Minister Mark Ryan said it was an important initiative because it reinforced the government’s victim-centric approach.

“These specialist officers will ensure that those who have experienced sexual violence will be better supported.”

Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Women Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman, said it was a fact that sexual violence is vastly under reported.

“We need to remove barriers for victims to come forward.

“It’s good to see these new sexual violence liaison officers will be able to provide trauma-informed support for victims when reporting sexual assault.

“This will ensure victims are heard and perpetrators held to account.”

The roles will be established across Queensland by the end of 2021.

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