ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry has taken the territory government's first steps towards addressing promised sexual assault reforms.
Ms Berry has established a working group to co-ordinate the community, service sector, unions and stakeholders on responses to sexual assault in the ACT.
It came after advocates called on the ACT government to deliver on sexual assault reforms early in the parliamentary term and to focus on areas of reform outside the criminal justice system.
Victim advocates have expressed alarm over a plummet in sexual assault trials in the ACT over the past five years. There have been 105 sexual offence trials in the past five financial years, compared to 230 trials in the previous five years.
Ms Berry said it was time to put survivors at the centre of responses to sexual assault and violence.
She said she met with victim advocates last week and "heard the call for a different approach to change".
"To make long-lasting change to cultures of behaviour we need to bring everyonealong on the journey for change," she said.
"The working group will be inclusive and intersectional about experiences of sexual violence across the community including people with a disability, children and young people, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
"We know that there any many different experiences and that our response must provide more than just one pathway."
It comes as a new survey hopes to better understand Canberra women's experiences of seeking help after being sexually assaulted.
Women's Health Matters has asked women to confidentially share their experiences to inform the ways in which women seek help following a sexual assault, the services and support they access and when and why they choose to do it in such a way.
The research will be used by the organisation to advocate to improve responses in the ACT for women seeking help following a sexual assault.
"This survey should help us get some knowledge about when and what services should be pitched to help women get what they need," Women's Health Matters chief executive Marcia Williams said.
"And if they don't use services we'll find out why they're not using them."
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