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Response to media on 1800RESPECT panel arrangement

1800RESPECT
31 AUG 2017
  • In early August 1800RESPECT announced a new arrangement with a panel of organisations to provide the trauma specialist counselling component of the service
  • Four not-for-profit sexual assault, domestic and family violence organisations were invited to join the panel
  • Approximately 30% of calls to 1800RESPECT are for trauma specialist counselling

1800RESPECT’s focus has always been on how we provide a world-class national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

In early August we announced a new arrangement with a panel of organisations to provide the trauma specialist counselling component of 1800RESPECT (approximately 30% of calls to 1800RESPECT are for trauma specialist counselling). Four not-for-profit sexual assault, domestic and family violence organisations were invited to join the panel.

We had hoped that R&DVSA would be part of the service but we respect their decision and wish them the very best. We appreciated the opportunity to have worked with them in the past, recognising the critical importance of addressing sexual assault and domestic and family violence in Australia.

Our new partners, not-for-profit specialist organisations DVConnect in Queensland, Women’s Safety Services in South Australia and safe steps Family Violence Response Centre in Victoria, are committed to providing a world-class counselling service and we are looking forward to working with them.

The very vast majority of the sector support 1800RESPECT and our partner organisations DVConnect, Women’s Safety Services and safe steps Family Violence Response Centre. With the expertise and commitment of our partners from across Australia, together we will provide a high quality service that is consistent, responsive and accessible for women 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

1800RESPECT is committed to working with R&DVSA to ensure that the impact of their organisation withdrawing from the service is minimised, including assisting where necessary to find comparable employment across the panel providers, or within 1800RESPECT.

Medibank takes its community role in supporting people in dangerous and violent situations very seriously. Australians need to feel safe and have trust in the services available to them.

Inaccurate claims about 1800RESPECT could have an impact on Australians who might need to seek assistance through the service. All Australians should have confidence to call 1800RESPECT when they need counselling, information or support.

We take the privacy of callers very seriously. All callers to the 1800RESPECT service are advised that their calls are recorded for quality clinical care and training purposes and they can ask for their call to not be recorded. Callers also have the option to remain anonymous, to use a pseudonym, or to withhold identifying information such as their birthdate or surname.

All records relating to a call can potentially be subpoenaed, including the written file notes which all counsellors working on the service (including the specialist trauma counsellors at R&DVSA) are required to maintain. Callers to 1800RESPECT place their trust in us, and we take our duty of care to them very seriously. It is rare to receive subpoenas for call records. We will always look for ways to object to a subpoena, if disclosure has the potential to cause harm or danger to the caller or to others.

Media enquiries

Emily Ritchie
Ph: 0429 642 418
Email: emily.ritchie@medibank.com.au


Bronwyn Perry
Ph: 0438 545 090
Email: bronwyn.perry@medibank.com.au