The Human Rights Commission has welcomed the Social Services Select Committee’s finding that current services for victims of sexual violence are inadequate.
“This is a milestone and an important step towards sustainable, efficient sexual violence social services that will be available to all New Zealanders,” said Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue.
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. We were pleased that the Committee supported our position and recommended that the Government ensure that services are accessible to all clients, including those with disabilities and are whānau-centred, culturally competent, and responsive.
“I would like to acknowledge the leadership shown by this cross party committee for a whole-government approach to eliminating sexual violence.”
While we need to await the Government’s response to the select committees 32 recommendations, the Commission notes that by accepting these recommendations, the Government will have met many of the actions it committed to in the recent Universal Periodic Review which is recorded In the 2015 National Plan of Action for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.
“The inquiry process confirmed current services do not provide consistent, effective cover and current funding approaches are insufficient,” said Dr Blue.
“It’s clear the current system is flawed and not adequately protecting victims, nor addressing the root causes of violence. I support the committee’s call for an overhaul of the existing system and encourage Government to carefully consider the select committee’s strong recommendations.”