24/7 service to support victims of crime
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24/7 service to support victims of crime

Victims of crime would have faster access to support under a Liberal-Nationals government.

If elected, a Liberal-Nationals Coalition will establish a new Victims Support Rapid Response Service, which would offer mobile, 24/7 counselling to victims and witnesses.

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said victims did not currently receive timely support.

“Victims and witnesses of traumatic events need support as soon as possible and this service will offer help in the initial period of grief and shock,” Mr Bull said.

“Too often in our rural communities, including East Gippsland, there is a lack of support available – this new service will mean victims can start to rebuild their lives as soon as possible.”

The Liberal-Nationals Coalition has committed $5.42 million over four years to establish the service, which would be operated by the Department of Justice and Regulation Victims Support Agency.

Responders would include on-call volunteer counsellors, multi-faith chaplains, psychologists and other trained professionals.

“The Victims Support Rapid Response Service would also take some of the load off our emergency services, who, as first responders, often become de-factor counsellors to people who have witnessed a traumatic event,” Mr Bull said.

“Ongoing support will also be offered where needed, on top of immediate assistance.”

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

  Thursday, May 18, 2017