Support for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
11 March 2014 at 9:39 am
The Federal Coalition Government will provide $4.9 million in specialist support programs for survivors of child sexual abuse.
Eleven specialist organisations across Australia will receive funding to provide support for abuse survivors distressed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Government says the services will be specifically targeted towards people with disability, Indigenous Australians or those who suffered abuse in religious organisations.
“Ten of these specialist organisations will deliver services such as counselling, support and case management,” Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said.
“In addition, the Healing Foundation—which supports culturally strong, locally run Indigenous healing programs and funds education and research on Indigenous healing—will work to coordinate and build the cultural competence of all services.
“Work is still under way to fund organisations in the Northern Territory to deliver specialist services for Indigenous people affected by the Royal Commission, and we anticipate finalising these services shortly.”
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has welcomed the move as one of 11 specialist organisations funded to provide support to abuse survivors affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
PWDA will be supporting people with disability affected by the Inquiry.
“PWDA has a long history of working with people with disability who have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation,” Matthew Bowden, Co-Chief Executive Officer of PWDA, said.
“We applaud the Australian Government’s acknowledgement of the sexual abuse that children and young people with disability experience. We know that children with disability are sexually abused at a much higher rate than their non-disabled peers.
"These crimes are most often committed toward girls and young women with disability, and 18 per cent of women with disability report that they experienced sexual violence as a child.”
PWDA President Craig Wallace said: “Children with disability are also at heightened risk of living in institutionalised settings – whether it be out of home care, special schools, or group homes, and it is well documented that these living arrangements create environments where violence and abuse can occur with impunity.
“We hope that by uncovering cases of past abuse, this Royal Commission can also highlight strategies for prevention. We look forward to our role in supporting people with disability across Australia to engage with the Commission, and in building a better future for all people with disability.”