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Rape Prevention Devastated Champion Leaving Parliament

Rape Prevention Education Devastated Champion Leaving Parliament

“It time for our politicians to urgently address the rape of our children and young people. Leaders of our country have a responsibility to intervene.”

“It is not OK for politicians to keep this issue under the radar for fear of losing votes”.

Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education Whakatu Mauri Dr Kim McGregor says she is devastated at losing the rare and vital leadership demonstrated by the Minister of Justice, Simon Power, in his efforts to prevent sexual violence and support survivors.

In his final speech to Parliament yesterday Minister Power acknowledged that tackling sexual violence could mean that politicians risk losing votes.

McGregor said "Power's acknowledgment of the risk politicians’ face if they chose to deal with the chronic rates of sexual violence confirmed what we have suspected for a long time - that many politicians are too afraid to stand up publically and take a strong leadership role in addressing sexual violence because they could lose votes if they do".

McGregor is calling for cross-party leadership to address this social problem that costs tax-payers $1.2 Billion per annum and leaves our children and young people vulnerable to sexual violence.

"The sexual violence intervention sector has the expertise in our two whare structure within Te Ohaakii a Hine National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together to work with government to turn the tide on this devastating social problem”.

“What we do not have are the resources.

“An immediate solution calls for the government to implement the 71 recommendations that The Task Force for Action on Sexual Violence presented to them in July 2009.

“The report containing these recommendations, Te Toiora Mata Tauherenga was described by government as the most comprehensive road-map on sexual violence prevention, services for survivors and offenders, and the criminal justice system that any New Zealand government had ever received.

“So why have these recommendations not been implemented?”

It is estimated that one in four girls and one in eight boys are likely to be sexually abused before the age of 16 years. Young women between the ages of 16-25 years are the next most at-risk group.

“Our ability to protect our youth from sexual violence has been eroded because our specialist Kaupapa Maori and Tauiwi sector experts have been starved of funding to enable them to provide the much needed prevention, early intervention and treatment services to our communities”.

Louise Nicholas says, “Survivors of sexual violence want the government to address sexual violence because they know first-hand how devastating sexual violence can be on an individual, their loved ones and their community”.

ENDS


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