Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Services for sexual assault and rape victims under threat

Emergency services for sexual assault and rape victims will have to be drastically cut following National Government funding decision

“We have no choice but to cut essential services for victims of rape and sexual abuse despite an earlier government promise to maintain adequate and sustainable funding for the services” said HELP spokesperson, Aimee Stockenstroom. HELP, Auckland specialist sexual abuse agency, is today beginning the reluctant process of restructuring that will result in decreased services.

Crisis Service Manager Aimee Stockenstroom said “Despite working intensely with a range of government departments right up to the last minute and requests to meet with Minister Paula Bennett, we have not obtained sufficient funding to keep the 24 hour telephone crisis line operating. With only one month’s funding left, we have been forced to begin a process of cuts and redundancies throughout the organisation.”

Last year in December the service was under threat of closure. After an overwhelming response from the public in support of HELP the government made a commitment to a cross government process to ensure that the crisis services would be sustainably funded.

Ms. Stockenstroom said that she is surprised by this lack of response from the government because they have repeatedly told the public that they will retain front line staff and have a focus on helping victims of crime. “Surely victims of rape and sexual abuse require specialised front line crisis and therapy services. Without this, sexual violence can cause long term mental health problems, costing the country billions of dollars. We only need $144,000. It’s not much to support thousands of traumatised women, children and families” she said.

Ironically, HELP has just celebrated 30 years of specialist service provision to sexually abused and raped women and children in Auckland. “We were set up because police and doctors recognised that rape and sexual abuse victims require specialist help. Non-specialists, no matter how well meaning, can inadvertently cause harm to traumatised victims and make it more difficult for police, justice and medical professionals to carry out their work in relation to the crime that has been committed.” says Aimee Stockenstroom “HELP is committed to continuing to provide this specialist support in some form, to victims, their families and the professionals who work with them.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news