Source: Government of Queensland
Queenslanders are being urged to take a stand against sexual violence and show their support for survivors ahead of next month’s Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and Minister for Women Di Farmer marked the start of the month on the Gold Coast today (Friday 27 September) to coincide with the launch of Australia’s first Start by Believing campaign hosted by the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence.
“Start by Believing is a global campaign designed to change the way we respond to sexual assault, reminding us all that the most important thing we can say to someone who discloses sexual assault is I believe you,” Ms Farmer said.
“One in five women over the age of fifteen, and one in twenty men have experienced sexual assault.
“If you are a woman with an intellectual disability, there is a ninety percent chance you’ve been assaulted.
“That means everybody knows someone who’s experienced sexual assault, whether you know it or not.”
Ms Farmer said while sexual violence statistics were shocking, it was believed many more assaults go unreported.
“This is what makes Sexual Violence Awareness Month so important as it provides a platform to raise awareness in our communities, schools and workplaces, and to show victims that help is available and they are not alone,” she said.
“We are fortunate in Queensland to have a strong, passionate sexual violence support sector, working together through the Queensland Sexual Assault Network, who have been active in promoting and coordinating Sexual Violence Awareness Month activities.
“I want all Queenslanders to know that the Queensland Government is committed to tackling sexual violence in this state and is working to raise awareness of this issue and the support available to victims and survivors.
“We have listened to survivors, communities and the sector as we consulted on development of a new Sexual Violence Prevention Framework which will set out clear priorities and objectives to address sexual violence.
“The Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable, which has met three times this year, has provided expert advice and guidance to support this work, and I look forward to releasing the Framework shortly.”
Ms Farmer said 24 community organisations shared in more than $100,000 in funding through this year’s Sexual Violence Prevention Grants, to host events or develop resources in response to sexual violence in Queensland.
“This October, Brisbane’s Parliament House and Kurilpa Bridge will be the first of many landmarks around the state to be lit up in teal, a colour symbolising healing and trustworthiness.
“I hope all Queenslanders take a moment during Sexual Violence Awareness Month to think about what they can do to help end sexual violence within our community and become part of the global campaign to Start by Believing.”
More information about Sexual Violence Awareness Month and resources are available at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/getting-support-health-social-issue/support-victims-abuse/sexual-abuse-assault/sexual-violence-awareness-month
Media Contact: Lisa Colvin 0447 106 253