A while back I criticised Karl du Fresne’s attacks on ACC helping to fund the counselling and support of people recovering from sexual abuse.
And of course more recently, ACC pulled their funding of the only 24 hour crisis line service operating in central Auckland for victims and survivors of sexual violence.
What does this mean? I’m not overstating Mr du Fresne’s influence – there are always those willing to deny the horrific nature of sexual violence – which, by definition, leads us to a place of being able to systematically underfund services which work with victims and survivors.
If it isn’t really happening, why pay to help people recover?
What it means though, is the 8,500 people who called that line last year – to talk about what happened to them, to ask for help, to find out how to support their family member or friend, to ask for an advocate to support someone through the police process, to try and deal with the flashbacks they are having which are stopping them sleeping/eating/functioning, to talk about their self-harming or suicidal thoughts – well, those 8,500 Aucklanders may have no service available to them very soon.
Services in Aotearoa are patchy, with some communities offering no support for victims and survivors at all. One of the responsibilities of the Taskforce on Sexual Violence is to examine real, sustainable funding for agencies helping individuals and families recover from sexual violence.
So all this brings me to ask you Wellington based people to come collecting for local services this year. You can spend as little as an hour helping Wellington Rape Crisis out – not only with gathering money needed to continue running their services, but by raising the profile of sexual violence in Wellington.
At the moment, women can drop in off the street and talk to qualified advocates and counsellors at Wellington Rape Crisis. Male victims receive telephone support and referrals to specialist counselling. Email support and advocacy with other agencies is available to all. WRC will also work with families – because sexual violence has an impact not only on individuals, but on wider relationships. Would you know how to support your partner if they were raped?
Wellington Rape Crisis provides community education and contribute to community programmes to prevent sexual violence. Give them some time and energy on July 3rd if you can spare it.
Rape Crisis says, “Less than a third of all our callers go to the police. We need to more women going to the police”.
So National was able to get them phoning the police (who have rape advocates + counsellors)and cutting costs? Maybe this is a good thing for rape and for the recession.
Sorry Julie, taken me a while to respond for a few reasons.
I’m not sure where you get these statements from? The “quote” from Rape Crisis? Or National getting people who are raped to call the Police? How do you know that’s happened?
The police definitely do not have “rape advocates or counsellors”. They refer to community agencies – like Wellington Rape Crisis or Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP – for this.
Hi Luditte, no problem on the response time. I just dropped in to see what you were up to and saw this as a latest comment.
The quote from came for the law society .. see below link ..
Counsellors are available as in any victim status with police. Women aren’t so silly to keep that away from rape victims.
But why do the police need rape advocates? Isn’t the law equipped to deal with rape yet?
and the police have access as you say to rape counsellors. Whether the counsellors worked full time for the police or come in when required is not an issue as long as rape victims are cared for by them.
I am not sure why you think advocates need to be part of it. Statistics are always available.
Oh gosh. I was the one who said advocates. How silly of me.
Statistics are available through the police on rape. Advocates use those whether as part of the police or politicians and journalist and so forth.
I really dont think the Police have the required knowledge, fiscal resources or time to deal with and extra 8,500 calls.
This service must remain with those best qualified to deliver it.