Time to help HELP and survivors of sexual abuse

Written By: - Date published: 5:41 pm, October 19th, 2012 - 14 comments
Categories: crime - Tags:

Following on from the funding shortfall at Wellington Rape Crisis, now it’s Auckland’s turn.

The HELP Foundation take 12,000 calls a year, and despite government promises to assist them … yep, they’re in trouble.  More info and account details to make a donation in this article – please note at this point the donation account is only open until 26 October.

On the cynical side of things, does anyone really think it’s coincidental that these two crises for organisations providing badly-needed services, in an area Good Decent People don’t like to talk about at the dinner table, have occurred so close together?  Take it away, NRT:

There’s an obvious pattern that emerges from these two incidents: the government doesn’t care about rape victims. These services cost a pittance, and yet there is no money for them. Why? Because unlike tax cuts, inflated CEO salaries, there’s no obvious benefit to rich white men like themselves.

Funding services for sexual assault victims also doesn’t fit the smile-and-wave idiom, nor provide a great opportunity to rark up people who think of themselves as “middle-class” about Not Getting Their Fair Share.

Can you imagine if our government – and that’s any government, not just the current one – treated sexual assault like benefit fraud?

14 comments on “Time to help HELP and survivors of sexual abuse”

  1. Treetop 1

    The government are clearly showing that they do NOT value the work which the advocates from Rape Crisis do. It is ideal that an advocate attends when the police attend a sexual assault call out due to the trauma/reaction of the person reporting a sexual assault.

    This morning on Kathryn Ryan the recommendations from Bazley’s report were discussed. Forty of the forty seven recommendations have not been implemented. It has taken five years to implement seven recommendations, which leaves five years to implement forty recommendations. If the governmenmt cared about the image of the NZ Police concerning a healthy culture when it comes to sexual misconduct, they would also fund recommendations being implemented.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The government are clearly showing that they do NOT value the work which the advocates from Rape Crisis do.

      The only type of work that NACT are interested in is the type that makes them and their rich mates richer but doesn’t really benefit the worker, i.e, paid work.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    What bothers me is the pattern of decisions the government has made seems to foster a climate that now favours those who choose to sexually abuse others. Yes yea yea…it was there all along, but the supports for victims have been systemically stripped away or well researched areas that could be equalised to help sex abuse victims are ignored.

    Examples:

    – Cover determination for ACC Sensitive Claims so low that hardly anyone qualifies for treatment

    – Crushed Heart Collins declares it would be “unfair” for sexual predators to have their victims pre-trial and trail processes made easier than that of kidnapping or murder trials. To whom Collins thinks it is “unfair” to isn’t entirely clear….the kidnapping or murder victims who surely would be pissed at rape victims getting a slightly better deal than they were….or would it be unfair to the rapists who could no longer boast that they had lower conviction rates than any other crime…it’s hard to say because Collins never stated this, just dismissed the loony idea of the Law Commission’s recommendation outright while studiously ignoring the growing mounds of research supporting the need for change. No comment from the Minister about how “unfair” it is to be raped. Also no comment about how “unfair” victims find prosecution requires revictimisation again whilst having their character attacked – to make that comment would require the Minister to actually read the reports, something she can’t spare the time for.

    – difficult to navigate (and close to impossible to prosecute) complaints procedures under Civil law that cover sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation can be just as damaging as rape and often the only distinction between the two is a technicality. As an example the Health and Disabilities Commissioner used to investigated far more cases under the previous Commissioner Ron Patterson. Good luck getting any case investigated under Anthony Hill, especially if it is sexual abuse.

    This government is guilty of a secondary abuse of rape victims demonstrating a mentality that is short sighted and extremely dangerous for all of us, whether or not we have experienced sexual abuse.

    By supporting these valuable services you help preserve the safety of our nation. The first part of ANY CONVICTION is to support the victims so they can have the guts to report, then the determination to seek conviction.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    AND ANOTHER THING! Part of ACC’s legislative brief is to prevent accidents. How specifically is ACC doing that with sex crimes? Where are they acting on this at all? Possibly some NGO is doing the work and being funded but my guess is it’s just that Good Decent Ministries don’t go making public statements about rape being wrong at dinner time…or any time for that matter and especially not to the voting public.

    Phamplets in discrete corners of counselling offices are probably acceptable etiquette, but they don’t do much to segue understanding in the general public which is where the change is most needed.

    • Fortran 3.1

      Is a sex crime an Accident ?
      No way, so am not sure how ACC can prevent this.
      Can this construe this to be so under current legislation ?

      • The Invisible Meerkat 3.1.1

        In the same way that ACC run campaigns for instance to change the culture of safety in the home, they could run anti-sexual violence campaigns.
         
        Some people make the case that ACC shouldn’t cover sexual abuse and rape because they are not ‘accidents’, but it is hard to see where else support for survivors could adequately come from. I doubt that the Health system would cope, unless a new part of that system was set up and well funded.

      • just saying 3.1.2

        Is someone who has their head bashed in and suffers a brain injury the victim of an accident?
        Such unfortunate people are entitled to ACC, and yet I’ve never once heard an objection to the fact based on non-sexual assault not meeting some critic’s definition of accident. However I’ve heard it trotted out often in regard to sexual abuse survivors. I can’t imagine why there would be such a double standard. :-O

        • karol 3.1.2.1

          agreed, js.  Ditto for someone who is deliberately run down by  a driver.  As far as I know they are still considered to be victims of an “accident”.

        • The Invisible Meerkat 3.1.2.2

          Quite, and it follows that if rape survivors were offered support elsewhere on the basis that their injury is not an accident then likewise other kinds of assault.
           
          The main rationale I can see for funding recovery outside of ACC is because the Sensitive Claims Unit are so incredibly bad at what they do.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1.3

        This is a common misconception. Thank you for presenting what is a majority opinion (although you can’t tell from the posts on this thread) so we can reply.

        ACC is legislated to offer cover to anyone who is a victim under the Crimes Act, s128 which covers sex crimes.

        Rape crisis organisations currently do as much as the funding will allow to prevent sex crimes. Wellington Rape Crisis is active in this area and so is the Auckland Rape Crisis (and as stated earlier both have had funding issues despite being well supported and valued by the communities they work in). They see first hand what the results of sexual abuse are and the extent to which victims suffer.

        Prevention works just as significantly for perpetrators as although they have no criminal intent and don’t consider themselves to be rapists they may have very little idea of how to negotiate consent or what constitutes consent. Prevention work and exposure of ideas leads to a safer society as we move towards tipping point where attitudes of society are radically and permanently shifted away from blaming the victims of sexual abuse.

  4. xtasy 4

    This is a bit disgusting, that only so far 4 posts have been added to this. And I admit, I only read about this crisis in the Central Leader on Saturday. Maybe some budgetary improvements can be achieved, but from first impression, it is disgusting to see this government cut, slash and burn again, in hidden agenda, while the mainstream media get fed the crap about how great thinks Key and consorts supposedly do.

    Are there any functioning brain cells still responsive out there? Stand up and take at least position on this. It is horrible and despicable what goes on in this country. Are you proud of being a Kiwi, or are you just another dodger and low level operator, looking only after number 1?

    • karol 4.1

      Well, a small number of posts doesn’t mean no one has read the post.  Also, it’s a holiday weekend, so there’s less people reading and commenting here than at other times.
       
      I read it, and the (small number of) comments, and agreed with what I read.

      • The Invisible Meerkat 4.1.1

        TS was very quiet Friday night and Saturday, I’m not surprised there haven’t been many comments.

  5. Treetop 5

    “It is horrible and despicable what goes on in this country.”

    I agree and I would like to add that the funding cuts to Rape Crisis are the one place where an INCREASE and not a cut is required. Rape Crisis are the best at what they do. No other organisation is there from the time that the sexual assault is reported to attending a court hearing.

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