Due to the national awareness campaign, calls to 1800RESPECT have increased exponentially (more than tripled since the service was established in 2010), but there has been no similar increase in funds to employ specialist counsellors or purchase the infrastructure necessary to ensure that all calls can be answered immediately.
From 1 August 2016, instead of funding specialist counsellors at RDVSA to answer the calls of every person who calls 1800RESPECT, the federal government chose to fund a private, multinational health insurer, MHS to provide a ‘triage’ call centre to answer calls.
Medibank Health Solutions has announced that it will put 1800RESPECT – a vital, lifesaving service, out to tender.
We don’t believe that a multinational company should be profiting from a service to survivors of rape and domestic violence.
- We do not support competitive tendering in the community and disability sector.
- Multinational corporations have no place in the community and disability sector.
- Community-based not-for-profit organisations should not be expected to compete with multinational corporations
- The community fought to establish and run the Rape and Domestic Violence Service. It is an iconic service and we need to show all governments that we will fight to defend our local community-based services.
- If the Rape and Domestic Violence Service can be sold off and sold out – every local community-based service is at risk.
- We don’t believe that profits should be made from victims of rape and domestic violence.
- RDVSA is the only specialist sexual assault and domestic violence service in Australia.
- Survivors of rape and domestic violence shouldn’t have to speak to a call centre, they need and deserve to speak to a specialist trauma counsellor.
- The Medibank Health Solutions call-centre model does not work. It is damaging for survivors, workers and the families and communities in which they live and work.
- The Medibank Health Solutions call-centre model costs more than direct funding for RDVSA
Along with more than $300 million in other money ripped out of the community sector, including community legal centres, Aboriginal Legal Service, women’s’ refuges and other specialist and crisis services, the privatisation of RDVSA is a glaring statement of the hypocrisy of Malcolm Turnbull.
While Turnbull publicly announces that he is committed to ending domestic violence, he secretly provides public funds to multinational corporations, while stripping money from not-for-profit providers of vital life-saving services to survivors of violence.