Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Mental Health Watchdog

Australian National Office

Sexual Abuse in Victoria’s Mental Health Wards Is Bad and Getting Worse

Farrah Tomazin, The Age, 11 December 2017

Worried teenage woman covering her face with hands on the beach.It was meant to be a place that kept her safe; a mental health hospital whose purpose was to treat the most fragile.

Julie Preston was exactly that: a childhood victim of sexual abuse, a woman who never overcame the horrors of her past.

But not long after she checked into the psychiatric unit of St Vincent’s Hospital, Julie was raped by a male patient in a communal lounge. That attack came just days after she had been physically assaulted by another patient at the same facility.

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