Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Sexual violence prevention

Sexual violence can affect all Queenslanders, regardless of their age and gender. However, we know that women and girls, children and young people face the highest prevalence of sexual violence.

Statistics from the 2016 Personal Safety Survey show that from the age of 15, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men in Queensland have experienced sexual violence (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4906.0 – Personal Safety, Australia 2016). In 2017, just over half of reported sexual assaults for both women and men were of children and young people (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4510.0 – Recorded crime – victims, Australia, 2017).

The Queensland Government strongly believes that sexual violence is unacceptable, and is committed to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual violence in our communities.

Our commitment

The Queensland Government has committed to providing a strong, cohesive and evidence-based approach to preventing and responding to all forms of sexual violence. This work will bring together current initiatives and programs already addressing sexual violence, and guide our future responses.

This work will be undertaken in consultation with key stakeholders and the community, and will consider responses to all forms of sexual violence, including (but not limited to) sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape, technology-facilitated violence, youth sexual violence, and child sexual abuse.

Our work will include a refresh of actions under the Violence Against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22 (PDF, 2 MB) Violence Against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22 (RTF, 225 KB). It will also take into account related government commitments, including its responses to the Final Report of the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Current initiatives addressing sexual violence

We have made considerable progress towards addressing sexual violence, including through the Queensland Violence Against Women Prevention Plan 2016-22 and the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2016-2026.

There are a number of initiatives and commitments across government that are contributing towards preventing and responding to sexual violence. These include:

  • providing funding for sexual assault services and child sexual abuse counselling services across the state
  • introducing legislative amendments to give special victim status to all victims of sexual offences
  • introducing a sexual assault counselling privilege and recently launching the Counselling Notes Protect service to provide free legal support to victims of sexual assault seeking to prevent disclosure of their private counselling sessions
  • committing to creating a new offence targeting non-consensual sharing of imitate images
  • reviewing the Queensland Government interagency guidelines for responding to people who have experienced sexual assault
  • rolling out the Respectful Relationships education program across Queensland state schools.

Youth sexual violence

Youth sexual violence is a complex and challenging issue that can affect young people in all communities across Queensland. In July 2018, the Queensland Government released the Final Report of the Youth Sexual Violence and Abuse Steering Committee (PDF, 4.9 MB), alongside a response that outlines our commitment to addressing this issue.

The committee’s Final Report found that youth sexual violence and abuse is a state-wide issue, affecting young people in urban, regional and remote communities. The report also highlighted that communities most affected by youth sexual violence and abuse also experience a higher prevalence of social, economic and intergenerational disadvantage, and that girls, young women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are disproportionately affected.

The Queensland Government broadly supports the findings of the committee’s Final Report, and has committed $12 million for priority responses to youth sexual violence. The Final Report has been released alongside a Queensland Government response (PDF, 984 KB).

Information on the committee and earlier reports is available on the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships’ website.