The Human Rights Commission has welcomed the Government’s announcement of $46 million over four years to support victims and prevent sexual violence.
The announcement follows the Government’s acceptance of all 32 recommendations from the Social Services Select Committee’s inquiry into sexual violence services.
EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue, who gave an oral submission to the Committee on the issue, says the funding boost will be welcome news to victims of sexual violence and the groups who support them.
“For some time, the services available for victims of sexual violence have been inadequate and this has been the result of insufficient funding. This funding will go a long way to ensuring we can provide targeted and effective support to those who need it most.
“My congratulations go to Minister Adams and Minister Tolley who set up and led the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence, of which the Social Services Select Committee’s inquiry ran in parallel to.
“This investment demonstrates the Government’s willingness listen to the needs of those who use and those who provide sexual violence services and then develop a long-term plan that addresses gaps in the system.
“In our submission to the select committee, we focussed on the needs of disabled people, who are up to three times more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse and rape, and have less access to physical, psychological and judicial interventions.
“The Committee report recommended that the Government ensure that services are accessible to all clients, including those with disabilities and are whānau-centred, culturally competent, and responsive.
“We were pleased to see that the Government broadly accepted this recommendation and are hopeful that this will be a key consideration as the develop and implement new sexual violence services,” Dr Blue says.