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Auckland Sexual Assault Service to Hold Appeal

Auckland Sexual Assault Service to Hold Appeal

The Auckland service to support those who have been sexually assaulted is to hold its first-ever street appeal next week in response to the increasing need for its services.

Calls to Auckland Sexual Abuse Help’s 24-hour crisis line had increased by forty percent over the past twelve months and crisis support needed for those reporting assaults to the police had also increased.

Statistics from the service showed that stranger rapes associated with a high level of physical threat and violence to the victim had increased this year and were of significant concern.

“Forty percent of women we have worked with over the last year have been raped by strangers, or raped by somebody she met that night,” said Clinical Manager Kathryn McPhillips.
“Lately we have seen high profile home invasion rapes where women have been kept captive over hours, and many abductions, some of them in broad daylight from places as innocuous as supermarket or hospital carparks,” said Ms McPhillips.

“The impact on the nervous system of being in a state of terror over a period of time can have long-lasting effects, leading to PTSD, depression, anxiety and social isolation. This is why the early intervention and ongoing support provided by organisations like ours is so important,” said Ms McPhillips
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Due to lack of funding counsellors were sometimes unavailable to support those going through police procedures, such as forensic medical examinations and statements.

“Over the past month alone, due to lack of resources, we have had to miss six calls to support women reporting assaults,” said Ms McPhillips

“We are a community agency and, whilst we receive some government funding for the services we provide, we must fundraise more than $200,000 per year to keep the services running.”

“As an organisation, our work is often invisible, but we are grateful for community support for what we do.”

”We remain committed to finding full government funding for these essential social services, but we hope that Aucklanders give generously next week to ensure these crucial services remain available to women, children and their families in times of great need,” concluded Ms McPhillips

Ends

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