The board of NOW Australia is distressed to hear of the disclosures shared without consent during the making of the documentary, Silent No More, produced by Southern Pictures for the ABC.
NOW Australia has had no involvement at any stage in this production.
Wherever possible, disclosures of sexual harassment and assault must always be managed within a trauma informed, properly resourced environment by appropriately qualified and resourced individuals that center the healing and support of the survivor.
This is one of the reasons that we pulled away from our initially launched triage framework. We sought and received strong advice that triage was not a viable format for us.
In mid-2018, the Board formally determined that we couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t take disclosures. This was shared with the steering committee including all co-founders and via our website, as well as in the Chair’s report to the AGM November 2018.
We realised that, despite our enthusiasm and good will, we did not have solo capacity to do justice to the needs of survivors. We realized we would be more effective change makers if we focused on creating partnerships, advocating for change and agitating for increased resources for those already in the field.
From early 2018 on, our website directed those contacting us seeking support to existing, appropriately qualified resources. These included 1800 RESPECT, the AHRC, Justice Connect and 000 for emergencies.
Survivors must be centred at every stage as we move forward to create systemic and long term cultural change. This is a healing journey that needs all of us. If we have contributed in any way to any pain to any survivor, we apologise.
We look forward to the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s upcoming report arising from the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces.