The Queensland government has renewed its vow to do more to end sexual violence, with a new women’s safety and justice taskforce underway to assess women’s experience in the criminal justice system.
In a statement on Friday, Shannon Fentiman, minister for women and for the prevention of domestic and family violence, said the task force would deliver a final report to the government by June next year.
“So far, the taskforce has received over 700 submissions from women and girls who have bravely shared their experiences and perspectives,” Fentiman said.
“I encourage women and girls who have experienced sexual violence to continue to make submissions to help the taskforce understand how we can better support victims and hold perpetrators to account.”
October marks sexual violence awareness month and the minister said she wanted to use the opportunity to recognise brave survivors and work to look at what more could be done to stop sexual violence in the community.
“Everyone deserves to be safe from sexual violence and this month is a good reminder for all of us as a community, that we all have a role to play in ending sexual violence — because enough is enough.”
“Sexual violence has no place in Queensland,” Fentiman said.
Queensland’s women’s safety and justice taskforce has been give the responsibility of implementing relevant recommendations from the national Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment Inquiry. The minister said that the government was in the final stages of developing a sexual violence prevention action plan to this end, but acknowledged more needed to be done.
“Sexual violence impacts all parts of the community however we know that women and children are disproportionally effected and represent the majority of victims,” Fentiman said.
“Tragically around one in five Australian women over the age of 15 has experienced sexual assault and this number is probably even higher as it it’s an offence that still remains greatly underreported.”
As part of the awareness raising in October, Fentiman said she wanted to highlight that there were support services available for people impacted by sexual violence:
- Sexual Assault Helpline (www.dvconnect.org/sexual-assault-helpline/) on 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week)
- 1800 Respect (www.1800respect.org.au) on 1800 737 732 (24/7 telephone and online crisis support)
- Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) on 13 11 14 (24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention).