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Harrison’s tireless advocacy for sexual assault survivors praised

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A Hunter politician has been praised for her tireless advocacy for sexual assault survivors throughout the state.

Full Stop Australia, a national organisation committed to ending sexual, domestic and family violence, extolled the virtues of Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison after NSW Labor promised to boost funding for the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline, if elected to government next March.

Leader Chris Minns vowed to provide an additional $923,701 per annum to ensure every survivor could access 24/7 state-wide trauma specialist support.

In the past year, more than 4,000 calls to the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline went unanswered due to lack of financial assistance.

Despite this rising demand, there has not been a real funding increase in over a decade.

“We thank NSW Labor for its commitment,” Full Stop Australia CEO Hayley Foster said.

“In particular, we acknowledge Shadow Minister for Women and Prevention of Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison.

“She’s been steadfast in her advocacy for sexual assault survivors across NSW to receive the support they need, when they need it.

“This [Labor] pledge will mean that every survivor of sexual violence in NSW, no matter their location, age, gender or ethnicity, can get the same access to free, confidential, 24/7 trauma specialist support.

“The NSW Sexual Violence Helpline is not a luxury.

“It is an essential service.

“We warmly welcome a bipartisan approach from the Premier and his government to ensure every survivor of sexual violence can get the support they need.”

Ms Harrison said it was imperative victims were heard.

“But, that simply cannot happen if there is no one on the end of the phone to listen,” she statd.

“So, this is an important first step in NSW Labor’s commitment to supporting both victims and providers in this state.”

The party has also guaranteed an additional one-off funding investment of $467,670, which will improve access to sexual violence services in priority populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disability, migrant and refugee women, children under 15 and people from the LGBTIQA+ community.

“The services Full Stop Australia provides are invaluable,” NSW Labor Deputy Leader Prue Car said.

“We’re proud to support their ongoing efforts, particularly the assistance they offer through the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline.

“It is hard enough as it is to make the decision to reach out and ask for help.

“It’s as unacceptable for no one to pick up at the other end when you do make that call.”

James (supporter of Ranjeeta), Emily (counsellor), Director of Clinical Services Tara Hunter, Karen Illes (survivor/advocate), Penny Sharp MLC, Full Stop Australia CEO Hayley Foster, Labor Leader Chris Minns, Ranjeeta V (survivor/advocate) and Ryan Park.

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