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Sexual Abuse Prevention Network on Govt move

Sexual Abuse Prevention Network says the Government’s decision to create a multi-agency team responsible for sexual and domestic violence is a step in the right direction.

“This cross agency approach recognises the complexity of the factors that lead to sexual violence and its impact” says Sexual Abuse Prevention Network General Manager, Fiona McNamara.

“We understand that one of the first tasks will be to create a national strategy for prevention and response to sexual violence. This is long overdue.”

“We believe the strategy will have a strong focus on prevention, which is essential. Sexual violence is preventable and with a long term sustained strategic approach, led by Government in partnership with the specialist sector, it can be eliminated from our society.”

“We also understand there will be a particular focus on Māori and that a Māori advisory group will be established. This is essential in order to have effective culturally appropriate services available.”

“While we are supportive of this new approach, we have some apprehension which is that there has been a tendency in the past that when family and sexual violence are addressed together that the sexual violence which happens outside of a familial relationship or domestic setting gets lost. This is a high proportion of sexual violence and includes dating relationships, peer to peer abuse and workplace sexual harassment.”

“Overall we see this as a positive move and we hope to see the benefits of it in a reduction in sexual, family and domestic violence, faster and effective responses and a reduction in the harm that it causes.”

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