Surging referrals since Pell conviction
It is wonderful to see the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Kelly O’Dwyer that $338 million is being allocated to family violence. However, sexual assault centres are struggling with the fall-out from the publicity surround George Pell’s conviction for child sex offences. Whilst some sexual assault occurs in family violence situations a large proportion of sexual assault is not related to family violence. The recent publicity has caused a surge in telephone calls to CASAs and also an increase in ex clients contacting services following their past difficulties with their own childhood sexual assaults re-emerging. There have been unusually graphic details about the actual sexual abuse in the media. This is always an issue for people who have experienced similar abuse.