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Youth sexual violence responses

Responsible government

  • Queensland

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?

In July 2018, the Queensland Government released the Final Report of the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee. The Final Report highlighted that youth sexual violence and abuse is an issue that is prevalent across all Queensland communities, but that communities with higher levels of disadvantage are particularly vulnerable.

The Queensland Government’s response to the Final Report provided broad support for its findings, outlined initiatives already under way to address this issue, and committed $12 million over four years (from 2018-19) for priority responses. This investment includes three components: service enhancements in areas of high need, three place-based youth sexual violence trials, and research and evaluation.

What have we achieved so far?

In 2018-19, a new service enhancement model commenced in five identified high-need locations – Rockhampton, Gladstone, South Burnett, Caboolture and Toowoomba. The model includes new and enhanced sexual assault services, child sexual abuse counselling services, and youth counselling services, and early intervention with a focus on:

  • providing additional trauma-informed counselling for young people who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.
  • providing early intervention responses for young people exhibiting reactive and/or problematic sexual behaviours.

An external evaluation of the service enhancement model commenced in July 2020. The final evaluation report is due December 2021.

What is next?

From 2019-2022:

  • Three place-based youth sexual violence prevention trials commenced in December 2019 in Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Yarrabah.
  • The trials involve working with young people and local communities to co-design and implement locally tailored action plans for preventing youth sexual violence. There is a strong focus on prevention strategies, community awareness raising and enhancing the capacity of the local sector to respond to youth sexual violence.
  • While COVID-19 impacted on aspects of this work in 2020, community consultation and co-design work recommenced in October 2020. Community action plans are anticipated to be finalised by June 2021.
  • Implementation and evaluation of the community action plans will commence in 2021-22.

What difference will we make?

Anticipated outcomes include:

  • Increased community awareness of youth sexual violence and abuse and support options.
  • Young people demonstrate increased awareness and understanding about safe and respectful relationships, consent and strategies for promoting personal and online safety.
  • A reduction in the risk of sexual harassment, assault and abuse for young people aged 12 to 24 years.
  • Improved access to support for children and young people who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.
  • Improved access to therapeutic support for children with reactive and/or problematic sexual behaviours.

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