The Australian Services Union (ASU) welcomes today’s Senate vote in support of a motion calling on the Federal Government to directly fund Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (RDVSA) to deliver 1800RESPECT.

The motion put by Senators Kakoschke- Moore, Waters, Lambie, and Hinch, increases pressure on the Federal Government to abandon its contract with Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) for delivery of the service and ditch its controversial ‘triage’ model of counselling to callers of 1800RESPECT.

“Today the Senate has taken a stand for those in our community who have experienced unimaginable suffering,” said Natalie Lang, Branch Secretary of the Australian Services Union NSW & ACT (Services) Branch (ASU).

“I applaud Senators Kakoschke- Moore, Waters, Lambie, and Hinch for their advocacy.

“The community’s expectation is clear. No one should profit from rape and domestic or violence.

“Women, men and children who are experiencing sexual or domestic violence are entitled to nothing but the best support and that support is through RDVSA.

“Now it's time for the Federal Government to act.” Ms Lang said.

RDVSA is internationally recognised as providing best practice support for women, men and children experiencing sexual or domestic violence.

By contrast MHS is a for-profit multinational health insurance company which is on the record spruiking its profits from its ‘Telehealth’ services like 1800RESPECT.

“I think the decision is clear, the Senate thinks it's pretty clear. Why doesn't the Federal Government see it the same?” Ms Lang said.

The future of RDVSA hangs in the balance with its contract for providing specialist trauma counselling to 1800RESPECT ending on 31 October.

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