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Sexual violence researchers announced

21 May 2008

Sexual violence researchers announced

Sexual violence victims will benefit from the results of research being undertaken in a two-year project led by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Minister of Women’s Affairs Steve Chadwick said today.

“Contracts for the research have been awarded, and I am pleased to announce that the work will be carried out by very experienced and highly respected researchers from the Crime and Justice Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington,” Steve Chadwick said.

The research will look at improving the likelihood of victims making a complaint, supporting victims through the criminal justice system and the types of intervention that best support victims.

“The Research Centre is dedicated to researching crime and social responses to crime, and the team has the skills and expertise required for this highly specialised work.”

Over the next six months researchers will conduct interviews and surveys with victims of sexual violence and key informants such as rape crisis workers, counsellors, doctors, police and community leaders. They will also undertake statistical analyses and a literature review.

“Eliminating sexual violence is a priority for this government and the research will complement the work of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence, which is working to address the impacts of sexual violence and to improve outcomes for victims.

“We know that sexual violence is significantly under-reported in New Zealand, and the likelihood of obtaining a conviction when an assault is reported is not high. This research will support policy development that will vastly improve our processes for victims of sexual violence.

“This will not only benefit victims, but New Zealand as a whole. As well as the physical and mental health cost to victims, the cost to the community through the health, justice, and social systems is significant.”

The two-year research project began in July 2007 and is being led by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the New Zealand Police. The researchers will present their findings to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs by the end of 2008.

ENDS

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