Full Stop Australia has today launched a campaign calling for adequate and ongoing funding to support sexual violence survivors in NSW.
Currently 1 in 3 people who call the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline can’t get through because of a lack of funding. At a time of crisis, when someone hopes to talk to a trauma-specialist counsellor, they reach a voicemail.
Reporting of sexual violence has increased in NSW by more than 70% in the last 10 years (BOSCAR 2011/2021) and yet an increase in funding for the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline has not been received in over a decade.
Full Stop Australia is calling on the NSW Government to invest an additional $1.4 million in the 2022/23 Budget to ensure the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline can answer every call.
Full Stop Australia chief executive officer, Hayley Foster hopes the campaign will mean that everyone affected by sexual violence receive the support they need when they need it.
“It is not ok that when someone affected by sexual violence calls the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline in a time of need, they get a voicemail. This is devastating for a victim-survivor of sexual violence,” Ms Foster said.
“The NSW Sexual Violence Helpline is not a luxury – it is an essential service.”
“We are calling on the NSW Government to adequately fund the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline in the 2022/23 Budget.”
The funding ask includes:
- $923,701 in additional core annual funding to cover operational costs of the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline
- $467,679 as a one-off funding allocation to improve access to sexual violence services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, culturally and linguistically diverse people, LGBTIQA+ communities, people with disabilities and children and young people
Full Stop Australia has established a DoGooder campaign, which allows supporters to send an email backing the cause to their local Member of Parliament via this link:
“We hope the NSW community shows the government how significant this issue is for them. Everyone in NSW impacted by sexual violence deserves to be supported,” Ms Foster added.