Building connected communities for adult survivors

Warning: this story discusses the issue of child sexual abuse. 

SESLHD’s Adult Survivor Program (pictured) has hosted its first Community of Practice (CoP) to support adult survivors of child sexual abuse and highlight the theme of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Building Connected Communities.  

The aim of the CoP is to build partnerships across services to ensure adult survivors receive integrated, quality and trauma-informed care. 

Health practitioners from 21 different health services and non-government organisations (NGOs) came together for the event. 

“All participants recognised that this is an important and complex issue that challenges many professionals due to the chronic and overlapping areas of need,” says Katrina Hurley, Manager of Counselling, Violence Prevention & Response.   

“The group expressed hope for future CoP sessions to include targeted trauma-focused training, creating evidence-based resources, a district wide directory and networks that could support both survivors and professionals.” 

The Adult Survivor Program was established following recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  

According to the Australian Child Maltreatment Study (2023) 28.5% of adults have reported experiencing an incident of child sexual abuse before the age of 16.  

People with adverse child experiences are significantly more at risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, mental health and substance use issues as well as sexual and reproductive ill-health.   

The program offers consultation, supervision and training for health staff to provide the best care possible. 

If you would like to find out more, please contact 

If you need support, please contact Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578. 

SESLHD Adult Survivor Program