Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew have announced $10.4 million in new operating funding to support sexual violence services over the next two years.
“This funding boost in Budget 2014 will provide immediate stability for the specialist services providing vital support for New Zealanders and their families impacted by sexual violence,” Mrs Bennett says.
“It is a basic right that people should feel safe and secure and free of fear, which is too often taken away from people through sexual violence.”
“The sector requires extra resourcing, especially around the availability of 24/7 crisis call-out and emergency counselling services.”
The extra funding will include support for:
- Frontline crisis-response services.
- Community-based treatment services.
- Services for male survivors.
- People accessing medical and forensic services.
“We’re committed to providing the right support for those working with both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence, so that when someone comes to them for help they can provide it,” Mrs Goodhew says.
“This funding, appropriated to Vote Health, provides a shot in the arm to address current funding issues.”
“This is alongside work the Government is doing with the sector on a cross-agency, long-term strategy to make sure sexual violence services are high quality, well-run and sustainable,” Mrs Bennett says.
This includes the development of a nation-wide prevention package, and a committed focus on improving sector development, funding and governance.
“It’s important the sector has financial certainty now, in order to have the security and time to best consider what the long-term approach will contain.”
While crime rates are dropping, the rate of sexual crimes is not.
That could reflect more reporting rather than more actual crimes.
Whichever it is giving victims the help they need and prevention measures are both high priorities.