Sexual violence services need more help - MPs

A Committee of MPs from across Parliament has today called for better, and more sustainable funding for specialist sexual violence services after finding that current funding is not enough to keep people safe, the Green Party said today.

The Social Services Select Committee reported back to Parliament today following the Green Party-initiated review of funding for specialist sexual violence social services.

“That MPs from across Parliament were able to reach agreement on these wide ranging recommendations means there is huge potential to make real changes that will keep more people safe,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said today.

The inquiry found that “current services do not provide consistent effective cover and that current funding approaches are insufficient.”

The Committee urged the Government to “commit to ensuring that sustainable efficient specialist sexual violence social services are available to everyone in New Zealand.”

“This is a brave report by MPs from across Parliament who heard harrowing stories of people’s experiences trying to get the help they needed.

“The review was prompted by information I received that multiple services were under threat, including the 24 hour helpline in Auckland, and the closure of several kaupapa Maori services.

“All New Zealanders should be able to live a life free from sexual violence, but if this doesn’t happen, then people need to be able to trust that they will receive appropriate support and help that they need,” Ms Logie said.

A survey run by the Green Party in 2012 of sexual violence support services throughout Aotearoa showed that more than a third of services had cut staff numbers because of reduced funding.

“Thank you to each and every one of the 997 submitters throughout this inquiry who shared their experiences.

“To the dedicated people on the frontline, I pay tribute and acknowledge the hard work that goes into keeping services running despite the Government.

“I urge the Government to take up the well-considered and thoughtful recommendations in this report. Including:

  • the importance of Māori kaupapa services and culturally appropriate and accessible responses with full geographic coverage.
  • a whole of Government approach that includes justice, education, health, social services, ACC and more.
  • a coherent plan to prevent and respond to sexual violence with adequate funding to enable minimum levels of services and consistent cover.

The full report is available here.

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