Media Releases, News

Supporting victims and survivors of sexual assault - Sexual Assault Legal Service funded in the ACT

Women in the ACT will be among the first in Australia to have access to a specialist legal service for victim/survivors of sexual assault.

Women’s Legal Centre will be establishing the Sexual Assault Legal Service, in partnership with Victim Support ACT.

The Centre was thrilled to be selected by the Commonwealth Attorney-General as one of three pilot sites across Australia and will be establishing the Sexual Assault Legal Service, in partnership with Victim Support ACT.

Women’s Legal Centre CEO, Elena Rosenman, said,In 2021, two in three victim-survivors of sexual assault reported negative experiences with their engagement with the justice system. They have lamented their lack of a voice and limited participation in court proceedings.  We want to change that story.’ 

The service will provide dedicated legal assistance in relation to criminal proceedings and related legal matters, including separation and employment. Support will also include a specialist case manager so women can be offered tailored and holistic support. 

The pilot service will be available to women at all stages of the process, including general advice and information, engagement with police and the prosecution, support and advice during the criminal proceedings and post-sentence, referrals, and wrap-around client support coordination. 

Acting Victims of Crime Commissioner, Margie Rowe, has welcomed the opportunity to partner with the Centre and said ‘We are delighted to expand the support we provide to victim/survivors through this pilot service.’  

The announcement has also been welcomed by the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Williamson SC, who said ‘The DPP is excited about the announcement and looks forward to working collaboratively with both the Women’s Legal Centre and Victims Support.’ 

Read more about the announcement here.