Media Release: Improving justice and policing responses for victim survivors

Victim-survivors of sexual assault and violence will experience improved justice and policing responses under the Morrison Government’s commitment to ending family, domestic and sexual violence.

Police across the country will be trained to effectively identify and support victim-survivors of complex family, domestic and sexual violence including coercive control and technology-facilitated abuse.

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said the Morrison Government was also committing $3.3 million to uplift criminal justice responses for victim survivors of gendered violence including conducting a scoping study to develop an alternative reporting mechanism for victim-survivors of sexual assault and violence.

“We must ensure that police and the justice system are equipped to best support victim-survivors understanding the challenges around burden of proof and the risk of victim blaming and re-traumatisation which can be significant deterrents for reporting sexual assault and violence,” Minister Ruston said.

“The Morrison Government’s absolute priority is to listen to the voices and needs of victim-survivors and ensure the delivery of an alternative reporting mechanism for sexual assault and violence is fit for purpose, and gives precedence to recovery and healing.”

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the scoping study would inform the design and implementation of an alternative reporting mechanism.

“An alternative reporting mechanism will provide a safe pathway to report sexual assault for victim-survivors who may not wish to engage directly with law enforcement or formal criminal justice processes. In addition to increasing the options available to report sexual assault, this will assist in gathering accurate information on the incidence of sexual assault in Australian communities,” Minister Andrews said.

“The Morrison Government is also providing $4.1 million over four years to develop and deliver a dedicated training program for law enforcement across Australia to effectively identify and support victim-survivors of all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence.

“The development and delivery of a national best practice package of educational materials that seek to train law enforcement on complex matters and that can complement other training for justice officials will drive a holistic approach to reducing the trauma victim-survivors experience.”

The policing package is funded under the Morrison Government’s $1.3 billion women’s safety package as part of the 2022-23 Budget. This brings our total investment to support the delivery of the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032 to an historic $2.5 billion over the first five years.

tags:  news feature