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Ending Sexual Violence Together

Te Ohaaki a Hine – National Network for Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) - 17 September 2019

TOAH-NNEST is a national network of specialist services for sexual violence prevention and intervention. Following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s post-Cabinet press conference we are encouraged to see the acknowledgement of the mistakes made and the need to address this. The five points outlined in the action plan, which include involvement of expert sexual violence survivor advocates and preventionists, is reassuring that the Labour Party is moving in the right direction.

We echo the Prime Ministers’ reflection that if it has happened in the Labour Party it can happen anywhere. That is the experience of our member agencies that work every day with survivors and those with harmful sexual behaviour from all walks of life and work in all sectors of our society.

Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri spokesperson, Russell Smith, says “to reduce the widespread incidences of sexual harassment, abuse and assault, we must address the cultural norms that allow and enable harmful abusive behaviour to exist in the first place. Prevention strategies, like bystander intervention, and early intervention are essential. Good and best practice ensures that the safety of victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse is paramount. This includes ensuring that the person engaged in the harmful sexual behaviour is held accountable and must include educative and therapeutic intervention where changes occur reducing the risk of recidivism and repeated harmful sexual behaviour.”

Tauiwi spokesperson, Kathryn McPhillips, says “The current legislation for workplace sexual harassment is too complex with overlapping Government departments and reporting systems. A reporting system that is too complex is likely to become a barrier for most survivors. The Government needs to simplify the reporting systems for workplace sexual harassment and assault. We encourage all workplaces to work with specialist sexual violence response and prevention experts to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent incidences and support survivors to report”

“There are those calling for workplaces to not deal with this at all, to instead require all complaints to be made to police. The likelihood of a just outcome from that process is low, with New Zealand’s conviction rate for sexual assault down around 1%. This is a timely reminder that we need to fix the criminal justice process so that more than 10% of victims feel able to report and can be confident of a just outcome.”

Where to get help:
• Safe to talk - 0800 044 334, free text 4334, webchat and info at www.safetotalk.nz, email support@safetotalk.nz (24/7)

• Tu Wahine – Kaupapa Māori Crisis Service – 09 838 8700

• Korowai Tumanako – Kaupapa Māori Survivor and Harmful Sexual Behavior Support Service website: https://www.korowaitumanako.org/ Email: korowai@korowaitumanako.org

• Te Puna Oranga – Kaupapa Māori Crisis Service - 0800 222 042 Email: info@tepunaoranga.co.nz

• Rape Crisis – 0800 88 33 00 for support after rape or sexual assault

• Male Survivors Aotearoa – support for the well-being of male survivors of sexual abuse www.malesurvivor.nz

• Shakti Crisis Line – 0800 742 584 for migrant or refugee women living with family violence (24/7)

• Women’s Refuge Crisis Line – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) for women living with violence, or in fear, in their relationship or family (24/7)

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