Government must step in to protect Wellington Rape Crisis as it is forced to cut services to four days a week, the Green Party said today.
"Despite its client contacts doubling in the last year, Wellington Rape Crisis today announced they will be closing their doors one day a week," said Green Party women's affairs spokesperson Jan Logie.
"Sexual abuse support and counselling are essential services because sexual violence is such a big problem in New Zealand. Counselling and support services are vital to healing and recovery from sexual abuse," said Ms Logie.
Services that support survivors from disclosure to recovery reduce mental health impacts, improve well-being and assist people to reclaim their roles in their families and communities.
"The 2009 Taskforce for Action Report on Sexual Violence recommended immediate funding increases for services such as Wellington Rape Crisis. The funding increases never happened and we are now seeing agencies having to close their doors.
"The National Government’s ACC ‘funding crisis’ means that money spent on delivering counselling treatment to those who need it the most has halved and currently 80 percent of sensitive claims are on hold.
"And on top of that, funding from the Ministry of Social Development is being ‘prioritised’ to exclude adult survivors despite this being the largest group seeking support.
"Sexual abuse services are not just needed in good economic times. This Government seems to think they’re optional, maybe because the stigma means a mass protest is unlikely," Ms Logie said.
Individuals and organisations can find out more about supporting Wellington Rape Crisis at www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz
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