7 February 2019
Austin Health was lucky enough to welcome the Hon Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Women, Prevention of Family Violence and Youth, as well as the Member for Ivanhoe, Anthony Carbines, to our Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) based at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.
Staff had an in-depth discussion with the Minister about the work NCASA does promoting prevention and recovery from sexual assault.
Manager of NCASA, Heather Clarke, said it was a great opportunity to not only highlight to the Minister the role of NCASA but also to outline some of the challenges sexual assault services are currently managing in the community.
"In 2018, NCASA provided services to over 808 clients, with 43% under 29 years old. We've identified that more education and prevention work needs to be done with younger people," says Heather.
Heather shared with the Minister the work that NCASA is doing with the ‘Respectful Relationships' education program; a service NCASA provides to five local secondary schools.
"We're educating young people about consent and it's absolutely crucial," says Heather.
Out of the 808 NCASA clients, 85% identified as female, 14% identified as male and 1% identified as gender diverse.
"Although the majority of victims are female, we want to break down the stereotype that only women can be sexually assaulted. NCASA welcomes anyone who's experienced sexual assault to reach out to our service for assistance," says Heather.
NCASA staff also showcased artwork created by clients as part of their recovery process. The artworks were developed for the 16 days of Activism campaign to end violence against women; depicting ‘a world free from violence'.
If you or someone you know has been experienced sexual assault, you can contact NCASA or your local Centre Against Sexual Assault.
NCASA: 9496 2369
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1800 806 292