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Latest rape case underlines need for action

Latest rape case underlines need for action


Todays reported rape case involving two young men, who believed that they should not be charged with rape because their victim was comatose and they didn’t act violently, highlights a culture that will alarm New Zealanders and reinforce the ongoing call for action that is being ignored by the Government, says Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont.

“ Their attitude is deeply concerning. The young woman was further humiliated by other others who came into the room looking at her and touching her. The whole situation clearly shows a culture where attitudes devoid of an understanding of respect and consent are prevalent.

“ Like all New Zealanders, Labour takes the issue of sexual violence very seriously. The personal, social and economic costs of sexual offending are huge. In this recent case the Judge describes the “devastating” effect on the young woman with long term consequences.

“Labour is working on a comprehensive and long term package aimed at making NZ a world leader in reducing sexual offending. There are however changes that can, and should, be made immediately. These measures are backed by hard evidence and are well overdue.

“These changes include more urgent attention to implementing and resourcing the recommendations in the 2007 Bazley report on police conduct. Police must also ensure that the police are adequately resourced to implement any possible recommendations following the IPCA investigation into the recent Roast Busters case. In addition there needs to be more funding provided for the vital support services that assist both the survivors and perpetrators of sexual violence.

“This recent case reinforces the critical need that more funding is provided for rape prevention, including education in schools to dispel rape myths and promote respect and consent. In Auckland for example due to funding constraints less than 50% are reached by such programmes.

“National is taking too long to act; what little it has done has essentially been to restore some of the funding cuts it made in 2009. Outlined here are things the government can do right now to help prevent sexual violence and ensure it is dealt with rationally and compassionately when it does occur.

“Reducing sexual violence must be a priority. Unfortunately the government has failed to respond to the issue appropriately.”

Ends

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