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Call for abuse inquiry going to the Prime Minister

Call for abuse inquiry going to the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is to be presented with a resolution calling for an inquiry into all institutional abuse of children in New Zealand from attendees at an international conference in Christchurch organised by the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa.

While the Trust has advocated for an inquiry, this will be its first formal request.

The resolution says the government must commit fully to an inquiry in the form of a Royal Commission, or similar, that is independent, has appropriate powers to compel testimony from institutions, has sufficient resources provided to it to ensure an environment of safety, support, confidentiality, redress and restorative justice for survivors who come forward to report abuse and share their experience, and is conscious of the sensitivities of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The conference - which has been organised by the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, Aotearoa New Zealand (MSSAT Aotearoa) in partnership with ACC - is the third gathering of the South-South Institute. It has attracted speakers from around the world and runs until Friday.

The resolution confirmed today (see below) will be presented to the Prime Minister by Ken Clearwater, the national advocate for the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, Aotearoa New Zealand.


RESOLUTION:

We, the attendees of the South-South Institute Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, 5-10 November 2017, endorse the Government of New Zealand’s commitment to set up an Inquiry into the abuse of children in State care. We request that Inquiry be inclusive of ALL institutional abuse, historical and current, of children in New Zealand.

We submit that the government MUST commit fully to an Inquiry in the form of a Royal Commission or similar, that is independent, has appropriate powers to compel testimony from institutions, has sufficient resources provided to it to ensure an environment of safety, support, confidentiality, redress and restorative justice for survivors who come forward to report abuse and share their experience, and is conscious of the sensitivities of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We also submit that any inquiry must have the mandate to publicly report to facilitate the healing of survivors and the New Zealand community based on an understanding of the institutional failure that enabled abuse to occur and to make recommendations for government action that prevent future institutional abuse.

We suggest as a model the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry.

In passing this resolution we note:
The majority of men in prisons have been the victims of abuse
Many of the men in mental health treatment have been the victims of abuse
Childhood abuse is a key causal factor in male suicides
There has been a 90% increase in the number of sensitive claims to ACC by males who have been sexually abused in the period 2012 – 2016
Most male survivors will never make a claim under the present system
International research suggests 1 in 6 males will suffer abuse
Australian Commission reported that 60% of abuse occurred in church-based institutions
Many survivors experience the current processes for reporting their abuse retraumatising.
Survivor evidence supports that perpetrators have been able to act with a degree of impunity because of systemic failure and the way Institutions have covered up occurrence of abuse and effectively silenced survivors.

ENDS.

The address for ACC’s website for anyone needing support following sexual violence is www.findsupport.co.nz.

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