The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has partnered with intellectual disability support service WWILD to raise awareness of sexual assault support and reporting options.
WWILD’s And You Think You’re the Expert? features Detective Acting Superintendent Stephen Blanchfield in episode six, where he discusses the QPS response to sexual violence and how police can assist survivors in accessing support.
WWILD Project Worker Kaitie Pierce said the 7-episode podcast is created and hosted by women with intellectual disabilities, sharing what workers can do to support people with intellectual disability who have experienced violence.
“In this episode, the expert hosts discuss with Stephen the importance of being believed and how police can better support and communicate with survivors with intellectual disabilities so they feel comfortable reporting a crime,” Ms Pierce said.
Detective Acting Superintendent Blanchfield who attended the podcast launch, said he was pleased to support the initiative and speak with WWILD clients about how police are focussed on removing barriers for survivors to come forward.
“I thank those survivors for sharing their stories with me, for sharing some of the unique needs of people with an intellectual or learning disability and providing me the opportunity to explain the police response, the accessible reporting options available and how we collaborate with support agencies to support the needs of victims,” Detective Acting Superintendent Blanchfield said.
“Sexual violence is never okay. Police want victims to know it is never their fault and even though an investigation may not always result in a prosecution, it does not mean police don’t believe them.
“I congratulate WWILD on launching this podcast, which I hope helps listeners understand police are here to help survivors achieve safety, connect with support services and make a report, if that is what they want to do. We want survivors to know they have choices and are not alone .”
The QPS recognise the process of reporting a sexual assault can be a confronting and difficult experience and deciding what to do is a personal decision. Police, including specialist officers trained in sexual violence, are here to give advice on options regardless of when an assault happened. A variety of reporting options are available, including online. Making a formal police complaint is one option. Alternative Reporting (ARO) is another. ARO does not involve a judicial process but gives survivors the opportunity to share their experience with police that could assist others.
- 1800 RESPECT for phone support on 1800 737 732
- To find a support service that suits your needs visit the Queensland Sexual Assault Network (qsan.org.au).
- To make a report or access police support visit the QPS website www.police.qld.gov.au/units/victims-of-crime/support-for-victims-of-crime/adult-sexual-assault
- If there’s an immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).
For more information or to listen to the podcast, visit the podcast website: https://andyouthinkyouretheexpert.com.au