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Amazing community support for Wellington Rape Crisis

Media Release for immediate release

14 August 2012

Amazing community support for Wellington Rape Crisis. Government funders notable by their absence.

Yesterday Wellington Rape Crisis announced it is being forced to cut its services by 20 percent and close its doors on Fridays from this week.

Agency Manager Natalie Gousmett says, “We have been humbled by the wonderful support from the community in response to our funding crisis. So far we have raised $4400 in online donations and have also had offers from the community to run fundraisers and even a donation of an artwork to auction from Ewan McDougall.”

“We want to say a huge thank you to the community for recognising the importance of the service we provide and offering your support.”

“Unfortunately, fundraising and donations alone are not a sustainable solution for our service. A long term, consistent financial commitment to our agency by Government funders is essential if we are to continue to provide the quality services so many people rely on,” Ms Gousmett says.

Current client Maria[1] says, “The services I have received at Wellington Rape Crisis have been outstanding and professional. It really means a lot to me that my social worker, ‘just gets it’ and it is also important to me that they are an independent organisation. It is for these reasons that I recommend Wellington Rape Crisis to others. I am very worried that they are having to close on a Friday.”

Wellington Rape Crisis hopes that Government will step forward and commit to funding the service. Ms Gousmett says, “I hope if they see how dire our situation is, they will step in and support us. We know that sexual violence costs the Government billions[2] so supporting the specialist services in the Sexual Violence sector would save them money.”

Ends


Note to editors
An estimated 1 in 4 women and 1 in 20 men in New Zealand will be victims of a sexual assault at some point in their lives.[3]
In 2010-2011 WRC had 543 client contacts and in 2011-2012 WRC had 995 client contacts. In the same periods ongoing clients increased from 140 to 179[4].

[1] Not her real name

[2] Treasury estimated that sexual violence directly cost the economy $1.2 billion in 2003-2004

[3] 2006 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey

[4] See our Annual Report for more information.

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