Commissioner hopeful on ACT govt response to damning report

Victims of Crime Commissioner Heidi Yates has cautiously welcomed the ACT Government’s response to a highly critical 2021 report detailing the experiences of sexual assault victim-survivors, in the ACT justice system.

Ms Yates recently told the Canberra Times that the government’s response to the Listen. Take Action to Prevent, Heal and Believe report indicates it is taking the concerns of victim-survivors on board.  “This is a very hopeful day for the territory and I’m going to be carefully monitoring and contributing to the implementation of the recommendations endorsed by the government today,” Ms Yates said. More

Last month, Ms Yates was one of a group of leading advocates and service providers who called on the government to commit to funding critical sexual assault prevention and reform measures outlined in the report. “As this report highlighted, sexual violence is a pervasive and unacceptable problem in the ACT and around Australia,” the group said.

“The ABS Personal Safety Survey estimates that one in six women and one in twenty-five men have experienced sexual assault since the age of fifteen, and one in ten women and one in twenty men have experienced childhood sexual abuse.  

“This violence has a profound, negative impact on a victim-survivor, their loved ones and community. Worse still, victim survivors tell us that interacting with support services and the justice system is often retraumatising.  We must immediately invest in the ACT’s response system to reduce the re-traumatisation of victim-survivors.”