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Govt releases response to sexual violence report

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister of Social Development

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Social Development

15 September 2010 Media Statement

Government releases response to sexual violence report

The Government has today officially responded to the Report of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence.

The response is being jointly led by Justice Minister Simon Power, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, and Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia.

The Ministers say the response is targeted and focuses on areas where progress can best be made now.

It fulfils the Government’s promise to respond to Te Ohaakii a Hine - National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) and record in one place the work under way across government to address and prevent sexual violence.

Justice Minister Simon Power says the taskforce’s report has been and will continue to be a rich source of information for the Government.

“The report provides the most comprehensive roadmap on sexual violence prevention and services that any New Zealand government has ever received.

“There are no quick-fix solutions when it comes to sexual violence and the Government is grateful for the guidance this report provides.”

The Government’s response consists of a range of initiatives across four action areas – prevention, frontline services, criminal justice, and future directions.

Action includes:
• The Ministry of Justice re-prioritising $1 million of funding over two years for sexual violence prevention education programmes.
• Responding to immediate funding pressures by providing funds to sexual violence service providers through the Community Response Fund ($864,000 provided to date).
• A cross-agency stocktake of government expenditure on sexual violence services.
• Exploring alternative approaches to pre trial and trial processes for victims of sexual violence, including looking at inquisitorial justice models.
• Improving the level of support available to victims of sexual violence as they go through the criminal justice system. This includes funding for 18 specialist court victim advisers, a discretionary grant to assist with expenses incurred as a result of sexual violence, new information resources, and increased financial assistance for travel, accommodation, and childcare.
• Funding the Survivor Advocate role for the next three years.
• Police introducing new Adult Sexual Assault Guidelines.
• Funding for TOAH-NNEST to enable it to continue its role as co-ordinator for the sexual violence sector.
• A commitment to continued engagement with the sexual violence sector.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the Ministry of Social Development has already begun work on a stocktake of government spending on specialist sexual violence services and will report back by the end of the year.

“It’s important we establish what sexual violence services the Government is already purchasing, what the current and long-term demands are, and consider future funding options to ensure the sector has greater certainty around funding.”

Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia says she will continue to focus on linking sexual violence work with work she is already leading in the areas of family violence and whanau ora.

“This work is closely linked and it’s important that we bring key government and community agencies together to develop strong relationships, and work collaboratively to eliminate sexual and family violence.”

Questions and answers are attached.

A copy of the Government’s response can be viewed here. [Scoop copy Government_Response_to_TASV_Report.pdf]

More information on the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence can be found here.


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