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Govt lack of action on sexual violence

26 November 2012

Govt lack of action on sexual violence putting survivors at risk

A phone survey of sexual abuse support services shows one third are cutting staff and services due to on-going funding reductions, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party has contacted all of the main sexual violence support services throughout New Zealand, and of the 22 respondents, 36% reported that they were having to cut staff because of reduced funding.

“New Zealand has a significant problem with sexual abuse, one in three girls and one in eight boys are likely to experience sexual abuse and reporting rates are increasing,” Green Party spokesperson for women Jan Logie said.

“The size of the problem clearly indicates sector funding is being systemically eroded. We cannot rely on individual communities or agencies to be able to fundraise their way out of this situation, and neither should we,” said Ms Logie.

“The Government must commit adequate funding so these services can actually start filling the service gaps and guarantee everyone can get the right help.

“In 2010, the National Government promised to do a stocktake of government spending on specialist sexual violence services and to engage with the sexual violence sector, but instead they are another in a line of governments who have left this sector out in the cold.

“The lack of action from the National Government is leaving volunteers to pick up the slack and putting people at risk due to a lack of services and skills.

“It’s unacceptable that a third of our already overstretched services are having to lay off staff when there is no sign of demand abating, and it is in fact increasing.

“One service even reported that they were going to have to move to the service manager’s home as they couldn’t afford an office anymore. Another said they don’t advertise their services because they could not cope with any increase in demand.

“This is not a new problem, but this Government is neglecting its responsibilities and commitments to do something about it.

“It seems as if it takes a public outcry for the Government to take notice, but quietly this year Hawera Rape Crisis has closed and staff and services have been cut all around the country despite numerous promises to resolve the funding concerns.

The ‘everyone needs the right help’ campaign’s Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Everyone-needs-the-right-help/419702868086489?fref=ts

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