$1.3 million to support victims of rape and sexual assault

South Australia’s rape and sexual assault service, Yarrow Place, will receive $1.3 million over three years to provide specialist counselling to victims in regional areas and strengthened forensic and medical care.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the three-year funding agreement would support two key services at Yarrow Place, the Country Response Program and the Forensic Medical Service. Funding will be provided from the Victims of Crime Fund.

The Country Response Program provides victims with specialist counselling services, and helps raise awareness of issues surrounding sexual assault, and strengthen local services.

Funding for the Forensic Medical Service will support the costs of recruiting, retaining and upskilling medical staff who provide care to victims after hours, as well as other professional development activities.

 “Funding has been provided to Yarrow Place to deliver these programs for several years, but this three-year funding agreement will provide greater certainty and support longer-term staffing arrangements, particularly in regional areas,” Attorney-General Chapman said.

“Victims of sexual assault experience significant trauma and Yarrow Place looks after their immediate medical needs, but also performs an important role in ensuring there is an opportunity for justice, through the collection of vital evidence in forensic examinations.

“Just in case examinations can also be arranged through Yarrow Place when a victim is undecided about reporting to police, and the evidence is stored rather than provided to police until the victim decides if they want to report the assault.”

Sarah Cooper, Manager Yarrow Place said the longer-term funding agreement would enable the service to plan further ahead, and continue to provide specialist counselling and health responses to those impacted by rape and sexual assault in country regions.

Yarrow Place is the lead public health agency responding to rape and sexual assault in South Australia and is part of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (SA Health).

The three year funding agreement will begin in July 2020.