Advocacy, support and therapeutic treatment services

Volume 9 of the Final Report of the Royal Commission in 2017 contains 9 recommendations about improving service systems for all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The Victorian Government accepted 7 recommendations in principle, and noted 2 recommendations. You can read the Victorian Government’s 2018 response to Volume 9 here.

Enhancing services for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

The Royal Commission considered the complex needs of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and the barriers encountered when seeking assistance from services. The Royal Commission supported the development of service models that include advocacy and case management, in addition to counselling.

The Victorian Government boosted funding for Sexual Assault Support Services in response to an increased demand for services. This funding will provide additional sexual assault support services including crisis care, short, medium and long term counselling, case management, advocacy and group work.

It will also support the Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria, a state-wide, after-hours, confidential telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced sexual assault. Investment in these services is expected to help almost 4,000 victims and survivors of sexual assault in Victoria over the next four years, and significantly improve the response time for after-hours support.

This brings the Victorian Government’s support for sexual assault services to more than $28 million in 2018-19, an increase of 32% since 2014.

Practitioners at Sexual Assault Support Services work with people of all ages who have experienced sexual abuse at any point in their life, including people who experienced child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

Sexual Assault Support Services are client focused, trauma-, gender- and evidence- informed, and are available state-wide to all people. The Victorian Government is working with the Aboriginal community in the design of a Sexual Assault Support Service for Aboriginal victims and survivors that promotes self-determination.