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Appointment of a new counselling service to support victims of crime

26 May 2020

Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA) has been appointed to provide therapeutic counselling services to South Australian victims of crime over the next three years. 

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said RASA, which will receive $2.43 million over three years, has extensive experience in supporting vulnerable South Australians, including specific expertise in trauma-informed counselling. 

"Being a victim of crime is devastating and life changing, particularly for those who experience violent crime and trauma," Attorney-General Chapman said. 

"It can affect someone's life in many ways, for many years after the event. 

"RASA is a highly-regarded South Australian service that has a rich depth of experience in therapeutic counselling that spans over 70 years.

"It has a long history of working with some of the most traumatised and at-risk members of the community and I am certain they will deliver an outstanding service to victims of crime.

"Victims of crime deserve the best possible support and this appointment will ensure they have access to high quality and comprehensive counselling services." 

Attorney-General Chapman said counselling services would be available both in person, by telephone and online, as preferred or most suited to clients, regardless of where they live in South Australia. 

"Following a rigorous assessment of each tender, RASA put forward the most comprehensive bid to ensure services would be provided across regional and metropolitan areas," Ms Chapman said. 

"RASA currently has eight offices - in Adelaide, Hindmarsh, Port Adelaide, Marion, Salisbury, Elizabeth, Ridgehaven and Berri.

"It also expects to open offices in Mount Gambier and Port Augusta by the end of the year, ensuring comprehensive coverage both in the city and the country - with additional outreach services available in other areas."

Counselling services will be available throughout the stages of the criminal justice process.

"Peer support workers will also be available to provide an extra layer of support to victims of crime," Ms Chapman said.

"The counselling and peer support services will work collaboratively with the Commissioner for Victims' Rights to ensure victims are provided with a holistic response that best meets their needs."

Attorney-General Chapman thanked the current provider, the Victim Support Service (VSS), for its work to date and said RASA would work with VSS to ensure clients transition to the new service with minimal disruption. 

RASA will deliver the service from 1 July 2020 for two years, with an option to extend for a further year to 30 June 2023.