Survivors of sexual violence ‘ignored’

Brenda Coughlan, spokesperson for Independent Regional Mothers

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

DURING the Royal Commission into Mental Health community forum in Sale, it was strongly advocated that government regulations, policies and funding be closely reviewed, as many create mental health issues for women, men and children.

Funding for survivors of sexual abuse in Sale is virtually non-existent, with the Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault (based in Morwell) urgently needing an injection of government funding to deal with the mental health of many survivors.

The lack of services in Sale is a reflection on the present government’s lack of concern for regional communities.

Advocacy group Independent Regional Mothers spoke strongly in support of women and their children, who are being forcibly separated through regulations and government policies today, with a lack of assistance available for families who are either faced with violence or are in need of immediate assistance.

Government funding is urgently needed to train medical and allied health workers in the local hospital to gain an understanding of the effects on survivors of brutal sexual violence, as mental health recovery of survivors is paramount – especially when a survivor is in need of medical treatment today.

Several people also raised their voices for farmers, who urgently need mental health services that are non-existent in Sale.

The Royal Commission into Mental Health cannot ignore government regulations, policies and funding already in place playing a major role in creating mental health issues for many regional, women, men and children – whether they live in townships or on the farm.