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30 Years Of Self-defence, Now We Need Your Help

Photo Credit Roxy Coervers

After 30 years of providing free and accessible empowerment self-defence training to girls, women and members of the LGBTTQIA+ community across Aotearoa, Kia Haumaru – Personal Safety Education is launching its first Crowdfunder!

Recipients of the 2022 “Generosity Generator” mentorship programme run in partnership by The Funding Network, Givealittle and Chorus; Kia Haumaru is ready to dip their toes into the world of online crowdfunding with their campaign launching later this week.

Running from April 1 to April 15 2022 Kia Haumaru aims to raise $25,000 - enough funds to equip 1000 more girls and women with their custom written, life changing safety education.

Formerly known as Womens Self Defence Network – Wāhine Toa, Kia Haumaru is the only accredited safety education network in Aotearoa providing free and accessible safety education in schools, tertiary institutions and community venues nationwide. Their focus is on preventing violence; specifically physical, sexual and emotional violence against kōtiro, wāhine and members of the LGBTTQIA+ community. Alongside physical self-defence techniques, the course content address rape culture, teaches confidence, consent, personal empowerment and ways to respond and get help when violence has occurred.

Kia Haumaru Kaiārahi Roxy Coervers says “Aotearoa has a shameful record for family harm, ranking #1 in the OECD for family violence. 1 out of every 3 women experience gender based violence in their lifetime, and if we include incidents of emotional abuse and coercion/control tactics that statistic rises to 1 in 2 women. These are challenging figures to witness, and paired with the knowledge that 76% of family violence incidents go unreported, offers a sobering snapshot of the current reality kōtiro and wāhine in Aotearoa are enduring. This is why the early intervention work we do is so important, the need continues to escalate as the rates of gender based violence in Aotearoa continue to reach new heights.”

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The ongoing effects of the pandemic have created an even more volatile and dangerous environment for girls, women and persons of marginalised genders to navigate, with violence prevention experts dubbing it the “shadow pandemic”. As a frontline violence prevention service Kia Haumaru has seen the escalation in incidents of violence first hand, through the process of collecting disclosures of abuse from course participants. The majority of these disclosures of abuse are first time disclosures, as the course is often the first opportunity a participant has in a safe space to talk about their experiences of violence with an accredited violence prevention expert and access help.

Kia Haumaru as a registered charity NGO is reliant on government funding and private donations to undertake their critical work. This Crowdfunding campaign will help to empower more participants throughout Aotearoa, allowing the continued challenging of these statistics through changing the attitudes and behaviours around gender based violence and providing participants with education, resilience and opportunities for healing.

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