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A new service to help victims of crime

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

At the moment, victims of crime such as murder, terrorism, home invasion, emergencies, disasters and other critical incidents rarely receive the immediate support they need in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

It takes too long before formal victim support services are activated, despite it being well accepted that early intervention and counselling can help victims and secondary victims come to terms with the trauma they have suffered.

The Liberal Nationals will introduce a new Victims Support Rapid Response Service to fix this gap.

The Service will provide a mobile, 24/7 state-wide rapid response that will be on the scene soon after the traumatic incident to support victims then and there. It will also provide victims with access to ongoing counselling where needed.

The Service will be operated by the Department of Justice and Regulation Victims Support Agency and will co-ordinate on-call volunteer counsellors, multi-faith chaplains, psychologists and other trained professionals to provide the response.

In addition to stronger bail and sentencing policies, the Liberal Nationals have also announced other policies to provide more support for victims, including giving victims a more prominent place in court hearings and better access to compensation.

Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:

“The Liberal Nationals will always fight for the rights of victims of crime and those impacted by disaster and emergencies. We believe that victims should be given support to rebuild their lives as soon as possible. These reforms are part of our plan to make Victoria safe again.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Community Safety, Ed O’Donohue:

“The Victims Support Rapid Response Service will improve support for victims of crime, emergencies and critical incidents right across Victoria.”

Comments attributable to former Senior Police Chaplain, The Rev Jim Pilmer PSM:

“This new service, an Australian first, will provide a swift and pro-active response for both primary and secondary victims; including those affected by major incidents, road trauma and suicide.

The recent Bourke Street tragedy has highlighted the need to have a trained multi-discipline victim support team working in conjunction with all emergency services."