Consultation to establish a national point of referral to help victims and survivors of child sexual abuse

Closed 17 Nov 2023

Opened 23 Oct 2023


Child sexual abuse is a challenging issue and may bring up strong feelings. A detailed list of support services can be found below or on the Get Support page of the National Office for Child Safety website.

On 27 October 2021, the Australian Government launched the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 (National Strategy), and committed $307.5 million for implementing 62 measures under the National Strategy’s First National Action Plan (NAP) and First Commonwealth Action Plan.

NAP Measure 7 is intended to establish a national point of referral to help victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, practitioners and the general public to navigate the service system and access information, resources and support services. The National Office for Child Safety (National Office) anticipates the referral point would not directly provide support services, but would be a central and holistic point of access to resources and referrals to targeted and broad support services.

This measure responds to Recommendation 9.5 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to establish a national website and helpline to assist victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to access help and information.

We understand that the current service system in Australia is complex, often difficult to navigate, and that there is no single-entry point for victims and survivors and other people seeking information and support. The referral point may include developing a website and/or helpline, but we are seeking feedback on how best to design a service that meets people’s diverse needs in a trauma-informed, culturally safe and accessible way.

Why we are consulting

The National Office is undertaking a public consultation process with diverse stakeholders to ensure the needs and expectations of victims, survivors and the public are met, while balancing the views and expertise of governments and the service sector.

Consultations will be run through October - November 2023 and will ask about:

  • needs, preferences and expectations when seeking support and information
  • pathways to support including when and how support is sought
  • barriers to accessing help and support
  • key features of safe and effective services
  • best-practice models to deliver information, resources and support.

The National Office has partnered with First Nations Collective Consulting (First Nations Co.) to undertake culturally safe and trauma-informed dedicated consultations with First Nations people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disability as part of the broader public consultation process.

Once consultations are complete, the National Office will publish a summary of the feedback received.

Who we want to hear from

The National Office is consulting with people with lived experience, National Strategy priority groups, sector representatives, peak bodies and government agencies to inform the design and delivery of the national point of referral.

Our priority groups are:

  • victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates
  • children and young people and their support networks
  • First Nations people
  • culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • people with disability
  • LGBTQIA+ people
  • people living in regional and remote communities.

Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse come from all walks of life. We are committed to consulting with diverse stakeholders to design a referral point which has genuinely considered the needs, aspirations and experiences of individuals and communities affected by child sexual abuse, including people from the National Strategy’s priority groups.

We understand there is diversity in and across the National Strategy’s priority groups. We also understand that some people may be part of more than one group. These priority groups deserve and need measures to be implemented in a way that is specific to them.

How to share your views

You can share your views via our online survey.

You can also read the discussion paper and make a written submission.

In the discussion paper, we have outlined a number of questions that might help you understand the kinds of information we are looking for to inform the design and delivery of the national referral point. You might like to answer these questions when making a written submission but you do not have to respond to all, or any, of these questions.

Written submissions can be sent by email to

The closing date for the online survey and written submissions is Friday 17 November 2023.

If you wish to submit your response in a different format, for example, audio visual submission, please email to coordinate this response.

Publishing approach

The National Office will publish a consultation report that provides an overview of the type and nature of the feedback we receive. We may also use quotes from written submissions or survey responses within this report with your consent. These quotes will be de-identified and will not contain any details that could identify you. 


If you need assistance to complete the online survey please email

Safety information

This consultation is about child sexual abuse. Completing this survey may bring up strong feelings for some people. Please take care of yourself as you complete this survey and ask for help if you need it. You might want to talk to your family and friends, or your counsellor, doctor, or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health service.

We are seeking information and feedback on your experiences engaging with the service sector and ways to make services trauma-informed, culturally safe, inclusive and accessible. We are not seeking details of lived experience and cannot assist with, or intervene in, individual cases. If you have concerns about a child’s safety or wish to make a report, please visit our Make a report page.

If you think someone may be checking the websites you visit or using technology in other ways to monitor you, you may wish to find out how you can browse more safely before you continue.

Support services

Reading about and discussing child sexual abuse may be distressing for some people. Your safety and wellbeing are paramount.

If you or a child are in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).

Lifeline is a crisis support service for people who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

13YARN (13 92 76) is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander crisis support. You can call 13YARN on 13 92 76, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Bravehearts (1800 272 831) - Bravehearts Information & Support Line provides support and advice regarding child sexual abuse, available 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday AEST/AEDT (hours may vary on public holidays).
  • Blue Knot Foundation (1300 657 380) - National service for anyone affected by complex trauma, available 9:00am – 5:00pm AEST/AEDT, Monday to Sunday.
  • SAMSN –Supporting Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (1800 472 676) - Provides free support to male victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, their families and supporters, available 9:00am – 5:00pm AEST/AEDT Monday to Friday.
  • PartnerSPEAK (1300 590 589) – Operates in Victoria and provides advocacy and support for non-offending partners, family members, friends or anyone else who is affected by a person's involvement in child sexual abuse and child exploitation material, available Tuesdays 10:00am – 1:00pm, Wednesdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm, and Thursdays 3:00pm – 7:00pm AEST/AEDT.
  • Stop It Now! Australia (1800 01 1800) – Offers support to anyone affected by child sexual abuse, including individuals concerned about their own or someone else’s thoughts or behaviours towards children, available 10:00am – 2:00pm AEST/AEDT Monday to Tuesday and 1:00pm – 4:00pm AEST/AEDT Wednesday to Thursday.
  • National Redress Scheme (1800 737 377) - Helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling, a direct personal response, and a Redress payment, available 8:00am – 5:00pm AEST/AEDT Monday to Friday.
  • Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) (1800 008 774) - Offers support to people who have grown up in orphanages, children’s homes, missions and foster care in Australia and New Zealand, available 9:00am – 5:00pm AEST/AEDT, Monday to Friday.
  • Australian Sexual Assault Services Directory - Provides access to a diverse range of specialist organisations who provide prevention and response services to people who are at risk or experience sexual violence in each state and territory.

Mental health support and advice

  • Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) - National crisis support tailored for children and young people (aged 5 to 25), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) - National mental health and crisis support, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78) - National crisis support for men, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • QLife (1800 184 527) - LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral, available 3:00pm to midnight, 7 days a week.

Family and domestic violence support

  • 1800Respect (1800 737 732) - National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Further information

Non-English speakers can access these services through the Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) by calling 131 450. TIS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are deaf and/or find it hard hearing or speaking with people who use a phone, the National Relay Service (NRS) can help you. You can contact the NRS Helpdesk on 1800 555 660. The NRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can find links and contact details for these organisations and for national, state and territory government services on the National Office for Child Safety website on our Get support page.


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