Funding boost for sexual violence crisis services
Funding gives sexual violence crisis services in the community the HELP they need
HELP (formerly Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation) are thrilled to announce the signing of an integrated three year contract with the Ministry of Social Development.
With contributors ranging from Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and Ministry of Justice, as well as the Ministry of Social Development, the contract will see HELP receiving funding of $457,000 per year to assist towards the provision of their vital services.
“This level of commitment from multiple ministries is a huge encouragement to HELP and the supporters who have walked with us on this journey to help survivors of sexual abuse, assault and rape in our community,” says Aimee Stockenstroom, Crisis Services Manager at HELP. “Through our conversations to date, it has been evident that Minister Bennett was fully committed to ensuring that this three year contract was secured. Minister Bennett shares our vision for survivors of sexual violence to access professional, consistent sexual violence services when they need it most.”
The contract gives certainty to the organisation, marking a significant step forward for HELP, who have been battling a funding shortfall for some time; a shortfall which has, at times, threatened the continuation of vital services, like their 24/7 HELPline. While sexual abuse remains a serious issue in our society - with one in five women in New Zealand facing an instance of sexual assault during their lifetime – it is hoped that this contract will also mark a turning point for our community.
As one of the specialist providers of sexual abuse support, HELP services the greater Auckland region. The sexual violence crisis response service, for which the funding is allocated, operates in Auckland, Waitakere and Northern districts and includes the 24/7 telephone support service (HELPline), a call out team of specialist trauma counsellors, an acute crisis counselling service and court preparation and support services.
While this contract provides assurance of stability, the 24/7 HELPline and Crisis Services are still not fully funded. They will continue to work with Philanthropic Trusts, local government and the public to raise the additional $100,00 needed to provide their professional 24/7 Crisis Support Services.
“We appreciate the community’s support at this time. We could not have achieved this result without you,” says Harriet Sewell, Agency Development Manager at HELP. “I still firmly believe that, together, we can bring about change – and a society free of sexual violence. “