Fund sexual and family violence services in NZ properly

UPDATE: The Government has announced they will put $46 million into sexual violence support services over the next four years. This is great news, and a really positive step towards a more adequate and consistent approach to the funding and support of sexual violence services across the country.

*** trigger warning: mentions of sexual violence***

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] Yet the current Government has made successive cuts in funding to services providing support to survivors of sexual and family violence. [2] [3] [4]

This week it was revealed that violence prevention group the White Ribbon Trust is without funding for the coming year after Government support dried up. [5]

In the same week Police Minister Judith Collins noted that responding to family violence accounts for 41 per cent of a frontline police officer's time, [6] and Minister of Justice Amy Adams published an opinion piece in which she said "New Zealand has a shocking level of family violence," and, "[a]s a nation, we need to put a stop to family violence in all its forms." [7]

The Government has repeatedly asserted a commitment to ending sexual and family violence in New Zealand and Minister Adams, together with Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, has said that these funding decisions will be made as part of Budget 2016.[8]

That’s why we are calling on the Government fully fund specialist sexual violence support services in Budget 2016, including violence prevention services like the White Ribbon Trust, especially kaupapa Māori services. 

In 2015 ActionStation members came together repeatedly to stand in support of survivors of sexual and family violence, in 2016 let's stand together to ensure the Government puts its money where it's mouth is and fund the essential services that are working to reduce violence and to help people recover from its devastating impact.

Add your name to our petition now and share it with your friends to help make it huge.


NB: This topic is a harrowing one. If you or someone you know could benefit from some support, please consider finding a sexual violence support service in your area.


References:

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

 

Dear John Key,

We call on you to show that you and your Government back victims and survivors of sexual violence by committing to fully fund specialist sexual violence agencies to provide core services, especially kaupapa Māori services.

 

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