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Petition calls for fully funded sexual violence support

Petition calls on government to fully fund sexual violence support services

Tuesday 24 November 2015 - for immediate release


On Wednesday 25 November ActionStation members will deliver a petition to Parliament calling on the Government to fully fund specialist sexual violence support services. Female MPs who recently stood in Parliament to disclose that they are survivors of sexual violence will meet ActionStation members to receive the petition.


This Wednesday is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and around the world, people will be calling on governments to do more to prevent violence against women and to support women and girls who survive sexual and other violence. “It is the perfect day on which to deliver our message to to Parliament,” says ActionStation Director, Marianne Elliott.


“When female MPs recently stood up in Parliament to disclose they were survivors of sexual violence, some people claimed they were exaggerating to make a political point. But the cold, hard reality is that these women represent the statistical norm for women and girls in New Zealand, who are amongst the worst off in the world when it comes to sexual violence,” says Elliott, “that’s why we are calling on the Government to fully fund specialist sexual violence support services.”


Last year New Zealand was ranked below only sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe when it comes to rates of sexual violence. [1] One in three women in New Zealand experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. Three in four teenage girls in New Zealand reported at least one incident of unwanted sexual activity. Police are called to a family violence situation in our country every seven minutes.[2]


“There is no reason to be surprised therefore, though every reason to be appalled, that of the 40 women MPs in New Zealand at least seven of them have survived sexual violence.” says Elliott, “That is why we started this campaign, to stand in solidarity with all survivors of sexual violence in our country and call on the Prime Minister to put his money where his mouth is: If he claims to stand with the survivors rather than the perpetrators of sexual violence, then he must fully fund the sector that provides essential support to survivors, a sector that this Government has systematically defunded.” [3]


References:

[1] Radio NZ, 'Sexual assault high in New Zealand - Lancet', 14 February 2014

[2] Women's Refuge 'Face the Facts' - www.womensrefuge.org.nz/

[3] Key's abysmal track record backing sexual violence survivors, http://www.actionstation.org.nz/key_s_abysmal_track_record_backing_sexual_violence_survivors


Petition link: http://www.actionstation.org.nz/itsnotok


Delivery details:

Date: Wednesday 25 November

(International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women)

Time: 1pm

Place: Parliament steps, Wellington


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