The Palaszczuk Government has listened to victims and survivors to create Queensland’s first ever Sexual Violence Prevention Framework.
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said Prevent. Support. Believe. Queensland’s Framework to address Sexual Violence committed to a Queensland where everyone lives free of the fear, threat or experience of sexual violence.
"For the first time we have a framework which builds on our progress so far, brings together the evidence and advice of survivors with the expertise and experience of the people who are there to support them - and establishes an over-arching framework for all Government policy and programs addressing sexual violence," she said.
"While community attitudes are changing thanks to social movements like #metoo and #timesup, and the committed advocacy of survivors and Governments, evidence shows experiences of sexual violence are widespread.
"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."
Ms Farmer said the Framework covered all forms of sexual violence, including sexual assault, harassment, child sexual abuse and technology-faciltated sexual violence, and identified three priorities for action – prevention, support and healing, and accountability and justice.
The Framework identifes 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
Ms Farmer said the framework was developed following extensive public consultation, with more than 370 people attending community forums, focus groups and victim/survivor sessions and more than 350 written or online submissions, and was centred around the needs and experiences of victims and survivors.
"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," she said.
"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."
Ms Farmer said a dedicated action plan would be released next year to deliver on the commitments in the Framework.
Ms Farmer said a progress report on the Violence against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22 (VAWPP), released today, showed that 23 out of 26 actions had been completed.
"Until now, the VAWPP has been Government’s primary mechanism to address sexual violence against women and girls," she said.
"Going forward, it it important that our efforts to address sexual violence reflect that while women and girls are disproportionately affected by sexual violence, men and boys are affected too.
"The Queensland we want to be and that we’re working towards is one that is free of all forms of sexual violence, for all Queenslanders."
For information on the new Framework, go to https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/violence-prevention/sexual-violence-prevention/sexual-violence-prevention-framework
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer