Six crossbenchers have banded together to put pressure on the Government to ensure sexual assault and domestic violence survivors continue to have access to quality services.
A motion, which passed in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, asked for funding to be given directly to Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) to run the 1800RESPECT hotline, rather than the service being put out to tender.
“Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, deserve specialist services not a money-making enterprise,” Greens Senator Larissa Waters, who co-sponsored the motion with Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator Derryn Hinch, Senator Kakoschke-Moore and Senator Claire Moore, said.
“Of course, the quality of the services will suffer if the provider has one eye on profit margins.”
The 1800RESPECT hotline is a national counselling service for women and men affected by family and sexual violence.
Since its creation in 2010, the service has always been contracted to Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) but calls to the line were answered by a team of highly specialised counsellors from the RDVSA.