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Improving specialist Sexual Assault Services

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
    • 14 Deliver client-centred, trauma-informed, specialised and consistent support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.

What are we doing?

The NSW Government is investing $29.1 million over five years from 2018–19 to improve access to specialist services for victim/survivors of sexual assault, as part of the NSW Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

NSW Health will pilot a new integrated, specialist treatment service for adult victim-survivors with complex needs. This pilot aims to improve care through specialist sexual assault trauma counselling and integrated case management with mental health and drug and alcohol services.

NSW Health is also improving access to sexual assault services by building workforce capacity and community development activities. This will focus on groups which may be disproportionately impacted by sexual abuse and who may require tailored responses.

What have we achieved so far?

NSW Health has commenced a project to increase and improve the capacity of Health’s Sexual Assault Services to provide appropriate therapeutic support to Aboriginal clients. The scoping phase is under way and the NSW Education Centre Against Violence is expanding its Aboriginal Workforce Development Team to increase support available to services.

NSW Health is developing a strategy to increase access to its existing Sexual Assault Services (SASs) and New Street Services for people with disability. The University of New South Wales has commenced a needs assessment to identify promising practice for improving service access. The project will engage consumers to inform an activities and implementation plan. An evaluation framework will be developed to track NSW Health’s progress in increasing access for people with disability.

Two local health districts are being selected to pilot a new integrated, specialist treatment service for adult survivors with complex needs. In September 2019, local health districts were invited to express their interest in the pilot and the two sites will be selected in late 2019.

What is next?

The pilot will commence in early 2020. This pilot aims to improve care through specialist sexual assault trauma counselling and integrated case management with mental health and drug and alcohol services. Specialist research and service co-design expertise has been contracted to provide implementation and evaluation support to the two pilot sites.

Following an independent evaluation to ensure the investment in new, enhanced and expanded service delivery is meeting its intended outcomes, the integrated service model is expected to be rolled out state-wide from 2022–23.

What difference will we make?

This initiative responds to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about advocacy, therapeutic treatment and support for victim-survivors of child sexual abuse.

Progress on these initiatives is measured and reported on through the NSW Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. For further information, please see public annual reports.

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