We need long-term access to mental health supports for victim survivors and their children and the opportunity for stability through stable housing, access to a stable income. Until we have basic needs – like safety, food and shelter – how can we recover? – Jasmine, victim survivor
We know that recovery is not easy and can be a challenging journey. For most victim survivors, recovery and healing requires life-long support through specialised support services – but most people have told us that this is not available.
The support services and system currently focus on the crisis point and the time straight after. While this is very important, there also needs to be more attention and resources for long-term recovery. This would mean more money being put into therapeutic supports so that victim survivors can get help based on their individual needs and can access it when they first reach out for support.
Many victim survivors told us about the importance of connecting with their peers through lived experience groups like the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council. There should be more platforms available for victim survivors, including specific groups for children and young people to ensure they are seen, partnered with and heard in systems change work.
But what can be done?
We have suggested the following actions for the Victorian Government to tackle these problems (see full list for all 16 suggested actions(opens in a new window)):
Taking a more victim-centred approach
- Keep asking the Australian Government to fix the problems that we know affect victim survivors in the following areas: immigration law, Medicare, Centrelink and the family law system.
Make sure victim survivors can access the supports they need
- Make peer support workers available for victim survivors to help in their recovery.
- Make it clear about how the mental health system works with the family violence system to help support victim survivor recovery.