Specialist sexual assault services will share in an extra $2.7 million in Commonwealth COVID-19 funding to meet additional demand during Queensland’s pandemic recovery.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the funding, distributed by the Palaszczuk Government, would help services employ additional staff to support abuse survivors.
“October is Sexual Violence Awareness Month but for the survivors of sexual violence the scars of abuse can last a lifetime,” Ms Farmer said.
“Domestic, family and sexual violence have no place in Queensland; putting an end to the dark cloud of abuse is everybody’s business.
“We know unemployment and the financial uncertainty of COVID-19 has created a perfect storm for abuse with specialist community-based services reporting a spike in women seeking help as a result of sexual violence.
“I want to thank the Commonwealth for this $2.7 million in COVID-19 funding to be shared among 23 Queensland-based services from the Far North to the Gold Coast with the expertise to support sexual violence survivors.
“As we’ve seen with domestic and family violence, overwhelmingly the survivors of sexual violence are women.
“This extra funding enables sexual violence services to employ more specialist staff to reduce pressure on existing workers, deliver counselling and support, and connect survivors of assault with the right legal and health services.
“Some women presenting to community-based services are reliving past abuse triggered by pandemic-related isolation from the support of family and friends.
“It is crucially important survivors get access to the counselling and support they need to recover and lead productive lives.”
Ms Farmer said since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government had invested more than a half-a-billion dollars to support domestic, family and sexual violence survivors and help perpetrators to stop their behaviour.
“Together as Queenslanders, we can be the change that needs to happen to end domestic, family and sexual violence,” Ms Farmer said.
Landmarks around Brisbane will be lit up in support of Sexual Violence Awareness Month including Parliament House, Victoria Bridge and Story Bridge and the Reddacliff Place sculptures.