Services get together to help victims

A NEW counselling support service, Sexual Assault Counselling Australia, was launched yesterday in Dubbo by Gemini Bakos, Duty Officer, Orana Local Area Command.

Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA), formerly NSW Rape and Crisis Centre, established the service to assist those impacted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The purpose of yesterday's seminar was to raise awareness of the services Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia provide among people within the industry.

"The impact of sexual assault is trauma, which can reek all sorts of havoc on a person and it can be difficult to assess and treat," Karen Willis, Executive Officer of RDVSA, said.

"Together all we can do is get better."

Three speakers joined Inspector Bakos in addressing the group- Aunty Coral Packham Elder for the Tubba-Gah Wiradjuri nation welcomed the party to her ancestral land, Ms Willis emceed the seminar and briefly explained the Royal Commission and its current situation.

Laura Ansourian, counsellor and trainer at RDVSA, spoke of the symptoms of complex and residual trauma and Nicole Scheidel, manager at RDVSA, raised awareness of the specific programs available for the western region.

Inspector Bakos launched the website and counselling service for western NSW and re-emphasised the importance of a collective group working towards a safe community and welcoming support for victims of sexual assault.

"Take a look around this room- police, government, non-government, community organisations, the corporate sector, individuals and more," she said.

"This has to be a partnership."

Sexual Assault Counselling Australia is a national telephone trauma service, including specialist counselling, information and referral services.

It can also be used as a stepping stone towards face to face counselling and provides trauma specialist counselling from a number of locations NSW and Australia-wide.

The service will be available Monday to Friday, 8am to 11pm, via 1800 211 028 and will be transferred to a national 24 hour service or simply visit www.1800respect.org.au and www.sexualassaultcounselling.org.au.

NSW Police Inspector Gemini Bakos, Duty Officer, Orana Local Area Command, Karen Willis, Executive Officer, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia and Aunty Coral Packham, Elder of the Tubba-Gah Wiradjuri nation.

NSW Police Inspector Gemini Bakos, Duty Officer, Orana Local Area Command, Karen Willis, Executive Officer, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia and Aunty Coral Packham, Elder of the Tubba-Gah Wiradjuri nation.

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