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Rape Crisis commends decision to take a lead

22 February 2013

Wellington Rape Crisis commends Minister Paula Bennett’s decision to take a lead in the Sexual Violence Sector

Minister Paula Bennett has announced that she will take over as Minister responsible for the Sexual Violence Sector. Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC) commends this decision. Agency Manager Natalie Gousmett says “It is fantastic that Minister Bennett has stepped up to take responsibility for our sector. We have not had a Minister accountable for the sexual violence sector and this is something we have specifically asked for in order to ensure we have a well-resourced and sustainable sector.”

“It is a great relief to see some concrete action being taken by Government to support a sector that is falling to its knees because of lack of sustainable and consistent funding”, says Gousmett, “I am really looking forward to the Minister working with our sector to take action to address the chronic underfunding of our services so that we can continue to provide specialist support to those who need it.”

Further actions WRC would like to see include a dedicated Government agency to oversee and support the sexual violence sector and allocation of funding for these vital services in the May 2013 budget. The sexual violence sector is currently without a ‘funding home’ and is chronically underfunded, with several local services throughout the country shutting or cutting back in the past year due to lack of funding.

“Wellington Rape Crisis continues to face deficit budgets just to provide our core services. We provide extremely effective and efficient services that benefit the whole community. It would be a tragedy if that service were no longer available to people in the Wellington region. We know that sexual violence costs the Government billions[1], so improved support to specialist services provides savings for everyone”, says Gousmett.

Ends

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