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CharitiesAidWelfare, Government VIC

Peak Body for Victorian Specialist Sexual Assault Services Raises Alarm on Unacceptable Level of Sexual Violence

Sexual Assault Services Victoria 2 mins read

The peak body for specialist sexual assault services in Victoria, SASVic, is raising the alarm on the unacceptable level of sexual violence in the community and calling on the state government to fund a long overdue sexual violence strategy in next month's budget

9,537 sexual offences were reported in 2023 - that's 26 sexual offences a day, according to data released by the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria last month.

Kathleen Maltzahn, CEO of SASVic, says:

"The newest crime statistics show that the government is failing to drive down the numbers of sexual offences, and they're not even doing what is needed to make sure survivors get the expert services they need to recover or justice in the legal system.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Ms Maltzahn, “9 out of 10 women do not report sexual assault to police and many children and men are also afraid to come forward. The number of survivors of sexual harm in the Victorian community is far more than the official statistics capture."

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an important opportunity to highlight the need for ongoing funding for SASVic in the lead up to the state budget, and to remind the state government of its long overdue commitment to the deliver a dedicated sexual violence strategy.

"We need the Victorian Government to take action and improve outcomes and options in the legal and justice system, fully-fund the work that specialist sexual assault services do and deliver their promised sexual violence strategy," adds Ms Maltzahn.

"Only a fully-funded sexual violence strategy, as recommended by the Victorian Law Reform Commission, will help drive down rates of sexual violence. The government has been promising the strategy since 2021 but still hasn't delivered it.

“Our members serve clients from crisis to recovery, and that can take years, sometimes a lifetime. Getting access to expert help can make the difference between ongoing suffering for survivors and recovery. The government funds services only enough to respond to a tiny fraction of survivors. Every year, the number of people our members support is more than they are funded for, placing greater demand on our expert workforce," said Ms Maltzahn.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is held annually in April.

On budget announcement day, May 7, we're looking to the Victorian Government to send a clear message to survivors and the community that this level of sexual violence is unacceptable.


Key Facts:

- 9,537 sexual offences were reported in Victoria in 2023, or 26 per day.

- 9 out of 10 women do not report sexual assault to police and many children and men are also afraid to come forward.

- The Victorian Government promised a sexual violence strategy in 2021 following a report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission, but this has yet to be delivered.


About us:

https://www.sasvic.org.au/

sasvic.org.au/sasvic-campaign

 


Contact details:

Interviews are available with SASVic CEO Kathleen Maltzahn care of Brett de Hoedt of Hootville Communications. 0414 713 802 / brett@hootville.com

 

 

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