By Juliano Oliveira
The Queensland Government in a joint effort with the state community has launched a special framework aiming to cover several forms of sexual violence, including sexual assault, harassment, child sexual abuse and technology-facilitated sexual violence.
The project received more than 370 contributions from people attending community forums, focus groups and victim/survivor sessions and more than 350 written or online submissions.
“One in five women over the age of 15 and one in 20 men have experienced sexual assault – which means we all know someone who’s been affected. People affected by sexual violence told us we need to start by believing and supporting them when they speak up – that’s the first and most important thing,” says, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer.
The Framework identifies important new initiatives, for which delivery can be commenced right away:
- Making respectful relationships education compulsory in all Queensland state schools via strengthening implementation of the Australian curriculum, and ensuring the quality of programs delivered
- Strengthening a victim-centric focus in the Queensland Police Service
- Conducting a pilot of a dedicated sexual violence liaison officer within the Townsville QPS District
- Establishing a sexual violence champions group to guide cultural change
- Strengthening sexual violence initiatives and responses at key events and locations involving young people, including Schoolies events
- Raising the profile of Sexual Violence Awareness Month, including the delivery of an annual Sexual Violence Awareness Grants Program
“Their stories are the reason this Framework is so important, both to help those who have been affected to heal, but importantly to prevent it happening to others. I thank everyone who came forward to share their story – some for the first time ever, states Ms Farmer.
According to the Minister, a dedicated action plan would be released next year to deliver on the commitments in the Framework.