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Victim Support Seeks Support With 1st Appeal Week

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday, November 10, 2003

Victim Support seeks support with first ever appeal week:

17 - 24 November 2003

Ever-increasing demand for Victim Support services has prompted the not-for-profit to run its first ever appeal week in the organisation's 17-year history.

Victim Support Chief Executive, Steve Caldwell, says it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand for victim services.

"Proceeds for our first ever national appeal, which is sponsored by Telecom, will help Victim Support continue to provide 24-hour emotional support, personal advocacy and information to those affected by crime and trauma throughout New Zealand."

Victim Support's appeal week will be launched at Parliament's Grand Hall on Monday 17 November between 5pm - 6pm.

Ross Cormack and Kelly Piggott, the parents of abducted and murdered six-year-old Teresa Cormack, will attend the launch. Ross will talk of his experiences with Victim Support over the 15 years between his daughter's disappearance and the arrest of her killer in February 2002.

Between June 2002-July 2003, Victim Support:

* Attended 113,100 incidents
* Made direct contact with 138,058 victims through a total of 161,134 approaches
* Spent 79,894 hours directly supporting victims
* Travelled 351,229km to provide services to victims

"Victim Support's services have become a recognised and integral part of New Zealand society through the help given to victims of crime and trauma" Mr Caldwell says.

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"In the aftermath of the Bali bombings, we helped New Zealanders. Following the tragic murder of Coral Burrows, Victim Support workers were there. After the floods at Paekakariki our volunteers worked with affected families to deal with the traumatic consequences such a natural disaster inflicts.

"All around New Zealand, day-in, day-out, our professionally trained volunteers are on-the-spot within 45 minutes of getting the call to help all victims, whether it be in the immediate aftermath of a burglary or to provide ongoing support to friends and family of murder victims."

Between June 2002-July 2003, the following crimes were referred to Victim Support:

* Dishonesty crimes - 49% (theft, burglary, robbery)
* Serious crimes against people - 4% (homicide, assault, sexual assault)
* Family violence - 12%
* Emergencies - 6% (suicide, sudden death, transport accidents, fire etc)

"For the past 17 years, since the first Victim Support group was formed in Gisborne in 1986, victims have received our support," Mr Caldwell says.

"Between 17 and 24 November, we encourage all New Zealanders to dig deep and return that support during our appeal week."

The following activities will take place during Victim Support's appeal week.

* Appeal envelope sent to 1.6 million NZ homes
* National television advert
* National radio advert
* National poster campaign
* Print media advertising - magazines, newspapers and billboards
* Corporate membership pack being launched to 887 blue chip companies in NZ
* Website launch (www.victimsupport.org.nz )
* 0900 VICTIM donation line activated.

---------Ends ------

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