Saturday, 27 July 2013

Federal Department of Housing, Community Servicesand Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA)

FAHCSIA recently distributed some $45 million in funding to provide support for victims of sexual assault who wished to be involved with the Royal Commission. The funding was to provide support and assistance with dealing with the Commission.  The CASAs in Victoria did not receive any funding even though they tendered for $1.1 million.  The money went to three agencies who, whilst being excellent in their fields, are not experts in what is a highly difficult specialist area.  CASAs who have a well trained workforce used to dealing with sexual assault have been left with an increase in demand and no additional funding. Demand over the past year has increased between 10-25 percent depending on where you are in the State.  In a feedback session about the CASAs failed submission the main reason for not being successful was given by Federal bureacrats as not showing how the service system CASAs provide was relevant to the Royal Commission.  It is hard to work out how a 24 hour state wide specialist system that predominantly deal with victim/survivors of sexual assault would be irrelevant. Clearly for the Federal Government it is.
A final, very disturbing, thought about the way the funding was directed in Victoria is that the Federal Government has unwittingly suggested that sexual assault is a relationship issue not a crime.

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