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Ed Sheeran

Underfunding crippling sexual violence help

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Advocacy group Action Station has identified a $7 million gap between government funding of sexual violence prevention and support and the cost of running the services.

That compares with Treasury estimates that sexual violence costs New Zealanders $1.8 billion per year.

Action Station director Laura O’Connell-Rapira says researchers analysed the financial reports of 38 sexual violence intervention agencies.

She says services are stretched, stressed and overrun because of the systemic underfunding.

Some services prioritise crisis situations, especially in families with children.

Waiting lists for support vary around the country, and in some child victims of sexual assault may have to wait five months for therapy.

The report recommends a greater role for schools and early childhood education, which should become champions of healthy relationships and consent.

It wants nationwide coverage of kaupapa Māori specialist services, culturally appropriate, rainbow specialist and accessible services available to all who need them, and more funding for self-referral services for people at risk of causing sexual harm.








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