Funding boost to sexual assault services

Funding boost to sexual assault services

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) clients will benefit from more counselling and outreach services after an $800,000 funding boost from the McGowan Government.

The Sexual Assault Resource Centre is a free and confidential service, which is part of the Women and Newborn Health Service, and provides specialist therapeutic counselling from seven outreach clinics for those affected by sexual assault (including rape) or abuse in the past.

It also provides a 24-hour emergency sexual assault (rape crisis) service in metropolitan Perth. This involves medical care, a forensic examination and counselling support to people who have been recently sexually assaulted (or raped).

In 2016-17, SARC treated 552 patients. The overall demand for SARC appointments and services has increased by 22 per cent over the past financial year, and it is anticipated the new funding will provide much needed support to about 80 extra clients a year in Perth’s northern suburbs.

The funding boost over four years will provide additional counselling and clinical psychologist resources, as well as administration support. It will cut wait times at the Joondalup Outreach Service and significantly increase the number of appointments being made available to those who have experienced sexual assault.

Being able to provide increased specialist care and support to people who have experienced sexual abuse was a McGowan Government election commitment, aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

WA’s first Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Simone McGurk, said, “we know that nationally, over a million Australians have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime, which translates to around one in six women.”

“Services like this are vital in supporting people who’ve experienced sexual assault.”

NOTE: To access SARC’s 24-hour emergency service, call (08) 6458 1828 or Freecall from landlines on 1800 199 888