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New Programme To Tackle Pacific Sexual Crime

New Programme To Tackle Pacific Sexual Crime

Justice Minister Annette King has today launched a new programme, aimed at reducing Pacific Island sexual offending and re-offending.

Ms King says the Amanaki Pasifika Sexual Offenders programme has been designed to help Pacific people and takes into account issues such as language barriers, as well as religion and cultural differences.

The programme will be provided by SAFE, which runs programmes in Auckland, Hamilton and Whangarei, and which operates New Zealand's largest community-based professional treatment programme for adult and adolescent sex offenders.

At the launch today Annette King said the Government's had an important role in assisting providers such as SAFE and local communities in combating the issue of sexual offending.

"The Government believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe and secure community where he or she can take part in all the activities a healthy and diverse society offers. We are listening to and committed to working with Pacific peoples, to find the most effective ways to build strong and secure Pacific communities", Ms King said.

Ms King commended the work being undertaken by SAFE in dealing with an issue that is not discussed enough in the Pacific community.

Research by the Ministry of Justice has identified Pacific sexual offending as a significant problem in the Auckland area. At present there are few organisations with sufficient expertise to provide a treatment response aimed at reducing the potential re-offending of these offenders. The Amanaki Pasifika Sexual Offenders Programme currently has an opportunity to provide a service and develop capacity and capability in this area of need.

The Ministry of Justice through the Crime Prevention Unit will provide funding of $90,000 a year over the next three years for SAFE to deliver the Amanaki Pasifika Sexual Offenders Programme in the Auckland region. Established in the 1990s, SAFE aims to reduce the incidence of child sex abuse in the community by treating those who perpetrate the offending.

Ms King also announced today that the Crime Prevention Unit has approved a further grant to SAFE of $10,000 to produce a DVD to be used as a treatment and educational tool.

ends

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