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Labour Party Youth Camp

Labour Party Youth Camp

New Zealand’s national network for those working in specialist sexual violence services, TOAH-NNEST wishes to express their dismay about harmful sexual behaviour reported to have happened at the Labour Party youth camp in recent times. They would also express concern about the process of addressing the disclosures once made.

TOAH-NNEST members dedicate their lives to achieve the goal of a country free from sexual violence. To achieve that goal sexually harmful behaviour needs to be spoken about and specialist support provided for both those harmed, and those who have done harm.

The gap between aspiration and reality demonstrated on this occasion is a reminder to all workplaces, charities, churches, community groups and sports clubs to have clear and well rehearsed policies and procedures in place for managing disclosures of sexual violence. Tauiwi Chairperson, Maggy Tai Rakena believes “it is important to develop a clear pathway before it is needed so that decisions are not made in the heat of the moment. We know from our work with those who have experienced sexual violence that the manner in which a disclosure is handled can either hamper or assist recovery”.

Russell Smith, spokesperson for Nga Kaitiaki Mauri and specialist Sexual Harmful Behaviour services expressed his strong concern about the apparent lack of supervision of the young people attending this camp. “Our daily work with those who engage in harmful sexual behaviour has taught us that skilled supervision can make all the difference to safety in such situations ”.

Sexual Violence will not stop in Aotearoa until we all face the ugly facts, learn how best to stop recurrences and prevent it from occurring in the first place. The process of developing a solid policy and procedure can enable organisations to be educated about the topic and learn how best to help.


ends

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