BALLARAT'S Catholic Diocese is donating $300,000 to the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA), to help the service work with abuse survivors across the city.
Earlier this month it was announced the Ballarat branch of CASA will receive $700,000 in State Government funding as part of a statewide $5 million commitment over two years.
The church's commitment will see that funding now lift to $1 million over two years which it hopes will assist hundreds of people living with the stigma of sexual assault.
Diocese business manager Andrew Jirik said the church had been seeking a way to support CASA.
"We've been supporting victims through various avenues, but it was opportune two weeks ago when we heard about the funding the state government had given CASA's throughout Victoria, so it was timely to see if we could top that off," Mr Jirik said.
"We contacted CASA and we asked if it was possible for us to make that funding $1 million.
"They do some very good work for what is our victims, but for victims more generally"
Coordinator professional standards Michael Myers said it was incumbent on the church to assist in helping victims of sexual abuse.
"We look around to find the best way we can respond to those abused and we see CASA as a best where we can provide money that will go directly to survivors," Mr Myers said.
"This is for all survivors, we don't want to tag this in any way. CASA will be free to use this in any way they see fit.
"For survivors the idea of a healing centre is a broad idea for the services of men's health. We're prepared to see how we can support that initiative, but CASA is up and running, it's doing well what it needs to do.
Mr Jirik said there were a number of victims that did not feel comfortable in speaking directly with the church.
"There are people out there that certainly don't want to come to us, and from our discussions this funding will go into the GoFundMe account," he said.
"That's the beauty of this funding, they do not have to approach the church, it's completely at arms length."
Mr Myers said the church would continue to offer pastoral support and redress which can include a number of initiatives both in counseling and financial support.
"The church has for three decades now been attempting to meet the needs of survivors," he said.
"It's not to say the church response has been 100 per cent, nonetheless the church acknowledge we have a duty to support survivors of abuse and it's something we do to the best of our ability."
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