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Mates & Dates will help prevent sexual violence

Hon Judith Collins
Minister for ACC

10 July 2014

Mates & Dates will help prevent sexual violence

ACC Minister Judith Collins is welcoming ACC’s new Mates & Dates school-based pilot programme promoting healthy relationships to help prevent sexual and dating violence.

Mates & Dates will be piloted in nine secondary schools throughout the country in Term 3 and will see up to 2000 students taught positive relationship skills by specialist local facilitators over five weeks.

“This Government is committed to preventing sexual violence and the physical, mental and social harm it causes,” Ms Collins says.

Sexual violence has a significant impact on victims and families. In 2012/13 ACC funded around $44 million toward sensitive claims – all of which relate to sexual violence.

“As part of its renewed focus on injury prevention, ACC is working to prevent sexual violence by focussing on the attitudes of young people. It’s important young people understand the value of healthy relationships based on respect, negotiation and consent,” says Ms Collins.

Ms Collins says ACC’s Mates & Dates pilot supports the Government’s efforts to drive lasting change in young people’s behaviours and attitudes by focusing on prevention.

Earlier this year Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced $10.4 million in new operating funding to support sexual violence response and intervention services over the next two years.

“By strengthening efforts across Government we can make a substantial impact on reducing sexual and dating violence behaviours and the harm they cause.

The Mates & Dates pilot programme has been developed with input from sexual violence sector representatives, interested community groups, government agencies and specialist academics, along with input from students, parents and teachers.

More information, including the schools and facilitators, can be found at www.acc.co.nz/news/WPC134251

ENDS

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