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Consultation on new legal assistance pilot for sexual violence victims and survivors

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Albanese Government is seeking input from victims and survivors of sexual violence to inform the development of three pilot specialised and trauma-informed legal services.

Seeking justice should not add to victims’ and survivors’ trauma.

That’s why the first Albanese Government Budget committed $8.4 million over three years from 2023-24 to pilot new legal service delivery models for sexual violence victims and survivors.

This consultation will offer an opportunity for victims and survivors, legal assistance service delivery experts and other non-government representatives, and states and territories to have their say on how the pilot should be developed.

The pilot will explore new approaches to provide victims and survivors with greater access to dedicated, trauma-informed legal services to support their recovery and engagement with the criminal justice system.

The success of the pilot will be evaluated to inform future legal services across Australia.

The Australian Government is leading the consultation on the pilot with the support of The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that promotes trauma-aware, healing-informed practice.

The pilot is consistent with our commitments under the Standing Council of Attorneys General Work Plan to Strengthen Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault 2022-2027, and the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, to improve the experiences of victims and survivors of sexual assault in criminal justice systems across Australia.

Submissions in response to the discussion paper are due on 7 May 2023.

Information on how to make a submission is available on the Attorney-General's Department website.