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Ensuring Rape & Sexual Assault Survivors Services

MEDIA RELEASE
17 February 2004

Group Working to ensure survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault get the support and services they need.

A group representing a range of Hawke’s Bay agencies have been meeting since November 2003 to work on ways to coordinate services for victims of sexual assault and rape. The newly-formed ‘Rape and Sexual Assault Core Group’, have been working on referral information to share with Hawke’s Bay social service providers and other agencies, to help survivors of rape and sexual assault find the services they need.

The next step is to develop a resource aimed at secondary school-aged youth and the public, with information on services available. The group also plans to set up annual meetings of interested people to monitor service use, trends, and to plan for new projects to meet needs of survivors of rape and sexual assault in the future.

“We want to make it easier for survivors of rape and sexual assault to find and get help from the services provided by Hawke’s Bay organisations,” said Brenda Campbell of Napier Women’s Refuge.

This group was established after a public meeting called by the Napier Council of Social Services to discuss the lack of a rape crisis service in Hawke’s Bay. Rape Crisis closed in 2002 and since this time there has not been a specific rape support service.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s health promoter, Shari Tidswell, said there are a wide range of professional services already being provided for survivors of rape and sexual assault, people simply need to be told about them and how to access them.

“If there are any agencies or groups out there that haven’t been contacted by the Rape and Sexual Assault Core Group, they should contact Shari Tidswell at the Napier Health Centre 8341815 extension 4252.

Louise Holman, coordinator of the Heretaunga Women’s Centre said support ranges from written information to support, crisis support or counselling.

For more than fifteen years Women Web Rape Crisis provided, counselling, phone support, information and education around sexual abuse for Hawke’s Bay women. “We plan to build on this good work and meet a wider range of needs for men and women of different cultures, who live throughout Hawke’s Bay,” says Gilda Morganti, director of the Napier Family Centre.

The Rape and Sexual Assault Core Group, is an open group and welcomes people wanting to be involved in this work. Contact Shari Tidswell at the above phone number to be added to the mailing list.


Agencies involved in the Rape and Sexual Assault Core Group:
Napier Council of Social Services
Napier Women’s Refuge
Public Health Unit- Hawke’s Bay District Health Board
DOVE Hawkes Bay
Heretaunga Women’s Centre
Napier Family Centre
Lifeline Hawkes Bay
Maori Women’s Resource Centre
A representative of ACC counsellors in Hawke’s Bay

END

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