Queensland’s new Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable, which will help develop a new Sexual Violence Prevention Framework for Queensland, held its inaugural meeting yesterday (March 20).
Minister for Women Di Farmer said the Roundtable was bringing the issue of sexual violence out of the shadows and starting conversations across Queensland.
“The first meeting of the Roundtable has brought together an incredible wealth of experience and knowledge in one space to help us work together on addressing sexual violence in Queensland, and continue developing our Sexual Violence Prevention Framework,” she said.
“To address sexual violence in Queensland, we need insight from a range of perspectives, from professional experience, academic backgrounds, and everyday Queenslanders so that we can identify the most pressing priority areas of need and determine evidence-based approaches to stopping sexual violence.
“Importantly, we want to be able to better support victims and survivors of sexual violence. Noone should have to experience sexual violence, but when it happens, it’s important that we can support and care for victims and survivors to help them move past the experience when they’re ready.”
Ms Farmer said the next step would be to encourage Queenslanders to give their insight and share their experiences through a consultation process set to begin later this month.
“Expert advice is important, but if we are to really make progress we most need to hear from everyday Queenslanders who have seen or experienced sexual violence in their own lives,” she said.
“Often it’s victims or relatives who can most clearly identify gaps in services or responses, because they’ve been there and experienced it.
“We will be visiting a number of regional centres in the coming weeks to hear directly from Queenslanders about what should be in our Sexual Violence Prevention Framework, and we’ll also have an online portal where you can make submissions without having to attend a forum.
“It’s important that we continue to have those important conversations, and bring the issue of sexual violence out into the open.”
Ms Farmer said the Sexual Violence Prevention Framework would be released this year and would set out a clear vision and objectives for addressing sexual violence in Queensland.
“Government is already doing significant work in this space. For example, we are funding sexual assault services and support lines, we’ve accepted the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and are participating in the National Redress Scheme.
“We’ve enacted legislative change like criminalising so-called ‘revenge porn’, and we are rolling out the Respectful Relationships program across Queensland State Schools.
“What we need to know, and what we hope to find out through this consultation process, is are we doing enough, are there other actions we need to be taking, what needs to change or what services need to link up better?”
Ms Farmer said the Framework would cover all forms of sexual violence including sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, technology-facilitated sexual violence and child sexual abuse.
“It will also include a refresh of the Queensland Violence against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22, incorporate responses to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and actions to address youth sexual violence,’ she said.
Consultation forums will be held at:
- Friday 29 March Gold Coast
- Friday 5 April Townsville
- Tuesday 9 April Mount Isa
- Thursday 11 April Rockhampton
- Monday 15 April Toowoomba
- Thursday 18 April Brisbane