TOAH NNEST excited at Minister’s news

From Scoop, 30th April 2014:

Te Ohaakii a Hine National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together are excited to hear about the funding boost announced today by Minister Bennett.

“The funding boost will provide much needed support to specialist organisations within the sexual violence sector, many of which are struggling week to week to keep their doors open. ” said Tania Blomfield, the chair of the Tauiwi Caucus of TOAH NNEST.

“This will go a long way towards ensuring that the organisations currently working in this specialist field are able to continue to provide services to those in need while a long term sustainable funding solution is developed,” she
stated.

“Minister Bennett is right. It is a basic right that people should feel safe and secure and free of fear, which is too often taken away from people through sexual violence.”

Paetakawaenga Executive spokesman for Nga Kaitiaki Mauri of TOAH NNEST Russell Smith is also pleased by this news.

“Many of our services welcome the funding boost Minister Bennett has allocated for our sector. Hopefully this will translate into funding for our kaupapa Maori services. Our hope is that frontline urban and rural kaupapa Maori survivor and harmful sexual behaviour services are supported well by easing the process by which to access these funds”.

He goes on to say “This will help reduce the burgeoning needs we are confronted with on a daily basis. Many of our services have had to operate on the goodwill of the people within these services. So for us this is a much received and needed injection of funds. So to Minister Bennett, thank you”.

Tania Blomfield further added that since becoming the lead Minister for the sexual violence sector, Minister Bennett has worked diligently towards seeking workable solutions for the cash strapped sector, and during the last year, significant gains have been made in raising awareness of the financial plight the sector faces on a daily basis.

“TOAH NNEST are incredibly grateful for the work Minister Bennett has done, and we also want to acknowledge the tremendous effort of Dr Kim McGregor,
who resigned from TOAH NNEST late last year, but who has also put many
years hard work into achieving this goal”

Ends

To read the original release on Scoop, click here.

‘Imagining the Solution’ TOAH-NNEST Tauiwi Caucus Newsletter Jan 2014

 

 

Click here to read ‘Imagining the Solution’ TOAH-NNEST Tauiwi Caucus Newsletter Jan 2014

 

Select Committee Calls for Public Submissions – Closing Date 10 Oct

The Social Services Select Committee yesterday announced an inquiry into the funding of specialist sexual violence social services.

The Select Committee has also called for public submissions.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 10 October 2013

The committee requires 2 copies of each submission if made in writing. Those wishing to include any information of a private or personal nature in a submission should first discuss this with the clerk of the committee, as submissions are usually released to the public by the committee. Those wishing to appear before the committee to speak to their submissions should state this clearly and provide a daytime telephone contact number. To assist with administration please supply your postcode and an email address if you have one.

Further guidance on making a submission can be found from the Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee booklet which is available for download below.

‘Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee’ Booklet

This booklet is designed to help those writing a submission to a select committee to produce it in a form that is easily read and understood by members of the committee. Click here to read the booklet: http://www.parliament.nz/resource/0000241252

Please find a link to more information, including a Parliamentary media release:

http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/business-summary/00DBSCH_INQ_12392_1/inquiry-into-the-funding-of-specialist-sexual-violence

 

Funding for Sexual Violence to be Reviewed

Industry experts say a closer look into sexual violence support services has been a long time coming.

The Social Services Select Committee has agreed to review the funding needs, following a request from the Green Party.

Dr Kim McGregor, executive director of Rape Prevention Education, says there is not enough support for those at risk of sexual violence.

“We have services that have huge waiting lists, where there are very few existing specialist services, so it’s absolutely urgent the Government gives it a completely comprehensive look.”

Dr McGregor is thrilled the committee has agreed to look at the issue.

“It won’t be just one minister inquiring into our services, but a wider cross-party possibility which will help our services.”

By: Corazon Miller, | Latest Health News | Thursday August 22 2013 9:26

Collins: IPCA should investigate Rewa rape alibi claim

Justice Minister Judith Collins will write to the Independent Police Conduct Authority and ask why it has declined to investigate a complaint from one of the victims of serial rapist Malcolm Rewa.

Both Ms Collins and Police Minister Anne Tolley have said that any complaints about the way the case has been handled by police should be directed to the IPCA, which would investigate.

But one of Rewa’s victims did just that and was told by the IPCA it would not investigate, TV3’s Third Degree programme reported yesterday.

“I am going to actually write to the IPCA and ask them about that,” Ms Collins said on Radiolive today.

“That would be unusual for me to do that but I’m going to do it to find out what the reasoning is. If it was that it was 20 years ago and there’s no point because all the police officers involved have left or the process has changed well that might be a valid reason but I think it’s worthwhile asking the question and I will proceed to do exactly that,” she said.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

Source NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11112589

RPE Thrilled with Green Party Announcement

“I am thrilled with the Green Party announcement of a Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into sexual violence support services funding in New Zealand” Executive Director, Rape Prevention Education, Dr Kim McGregor said.

“The select committee inquiry will complement the cross-government review Minister Bennett has already started and adds the possibility of cross-party solutions to the current lack of specialist sexual violence prevention and intervention services throughout the country” she says.

“Sexual violence has been off the political agenda for the past 20 years as the focus has been on family violence. For example, despite the hugely high rates of child sexual abuse in New Zealand, in the government’s multimillion dollar ‘It’s Not OK Campaign’ there was not one mention of child sexual abuse”,” says McGregor.

“There are many areas in the country that have no specialist sexual violence support services” says National Sexual Violence Survivor Advocate with Rape Prevention Education, Louise Nicholas.

“There are not enough specialist services for survivors of sexual violence and their families or for those with harmful sexual behaviours and their families. Where specialist services do exist, most have huge waiting lists” she says.

“We need specialist services for all of those affected by sexual violence including children, youth, adults (female and male), Maori, other ethnic and diverse communities, and other targeted groups such as the disabled.” says Nicholas.

“I am pleased that the Inquiry will review access to specialist sexual violence prevention and intervention services for Maori” says Co-Director of Korowai Tumanako, Russell Smith.

“We are pleased that the select committee inquiry will allow female and male survivors of sexual violence to have their voices heard” says Nicholas and the National Manager of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, Ken Clearwater.

All of the advocates hope that those affected by sexual violence, who wish to be heard by the inquiry, will put in a submission. The advocates believe this is the first Parliamentary inquiry of its kind in New Zealand.

Submissions to the review close on 10 October.

Sexual violence support services inquiry welcomed

Source Voxy.co.nz

Green Party Initiates Inquiry into Sexual Violence Services

The Green Party has sparked a Parliamentary inquiry into sexual violence services funding in New Zealand.

The Social Services Select Committee has today agreed to review the funding of specialist sexual violence social services, following a request from the Green Party.

“I am very pleased that a Parliamentary select committee has agreed to my request and will take a really good look at the state of sexual violence services funding in New Zealand,” Green Party spokesperson on Women’s issues Jan Logie said.

“Sexual violence is a major problem in this country – one in three girls and one in eight boys suffer abuse and rates are higher for Maori, and vulnerable groups including disabled people.

“Specialist services significantly speed up recovery and allow people to get on with productive lives but they are also important in reducing offending and preventing more people being harmed.

“Evidence shows that when young people get the support they need as victims they are less likely to grow up to become abusers.

“Despite this the sector is significantly underfunded and under-resourced and too much Government money is wasted with too many government agencies doing their own thing.

“There are simply no services in some areas and many existing services with growing waiting lists are cutting staff and unable to help to the most at risk people.

The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are:

* To review the state of specialist services and determine whether they reflect an integrated approached to service delivery, full coverage and best practice

* To review services including for Maori and other diverse ethnic communities and assess whether they are accessible, culturally appropriate, and sustainable.

“I urge a wide range of people and community organisations to make submissions and help us build a cross-party consensus on how to ensure that everyone gets the right help,” Ms Logie said.

“One of the key reasons I came into Parliament was to promote community participation and practical solutions to long-standing problems, particularly those relating to violence against women.
“It is very encouraging to have the support of the other parties on the Select Committee to address this problem. I hope it will result in everyone being able to get the right help when they need it,” Ms Logie said.

Submissions to the review close on October 10

For more information:
Jan Logie MP, 021 038 6101

Leah Haines, Political & Media Advisor,  027 2778281

Tauiwi Caucus of TOAHNNEST meets at RPE 14 and 15 Aug 2013

Pictured: Dr Kim McGregor, Kate Abel,...,..., ...Sandra Dixon, Louise Nicholas, Ken Clearwater, Kathryn McPhillips and ....

Pictured: Dr Kim McGregor, Kate Abel,…,…,…Sandra Dixon, Louise Nicholas, Ken Clearwater, Kathryn McPhillips and ….

The Tauiwi Caucus of TOAHNNEST met at RPE on 14 and 15 August.

Attendees from Cartwright Seminar Call Minister of Justice to Action

Group Photo – Back row: Paulette Benton-Greig Project Restore, Julie Radford-Poupard Women’s Health Action, Dr Kim McGregor Rape Prevention Education, Louise Nicholas National Survivor Advocate. Front Row: Elisabeth McDonald Assoc. Prof Law Victoria University Wellington, Warren Young Policy and Law Reform Consultant, Kathryn McPhillips Clinical Manager Help.

Women’s Health Action Trust held its 25th annual Cartwright Anniversary Seminar on August 13th this year dedicating it to improving justice for sexual violence survivors.

‘One in a Hundred’ explored the research, policy and service based solutions that have been identified over the last five years to change the appalling statistical reality that the seminar title refers to.

That is, in Aotearoa, in the 21st Century, we still have a situation in which only 7 out of 100 incidences of sexual assault against adults are reported to the Police, of those only 31% reach trial and only 13% result in a conviction (including 5% guilty pleas).

That means that that only a tiny proportion of sexual assaults – less than 1 in 100 – result in a formal sanction.

The reasons for this situation have been well rehearsed and include social effects such as survivor self-blame and myths about what counts as ‘real rape’, the perception – and reality – that the criminal justice process is brutal and inhumane to victims, and the effect of evidential and level of proof requirements.

The public saw the reality of those effects when Rickards, Schollum and Shipton were acquitted of raping Louise Nicholas in 2006.

It was fitting then that Louise opened the seminar by reminding us that despite the public outcry at the time and the rush to examine the problem, nothing has actually changed since then.

She talked about how it breaks her heart every time she has to tell a survivor that there is nothing to stop that from happening to them.

Her opening was a poignant reminder that change requires the political will to implement recommendations; that we have invested heavily in research and problem solving since 2006, but that the will and the courage to make change has waned.

Collectively we need to reinvigorate the issue, agitate for change and justice and stay the course in demanding accountability from our leaders.

Elisabeth McDonald (Assoc.Prof Law, VUW) and Warren Young (ex Law Commission, law reform consultant) took the audience through the various recommendations for procedural change that were identified through their collaborative research projects – the Law Commission issues paper Alternative Pre-Trial and Trial Processes: Possible Reforms (NZLC IP30, 2012) and the Victoria University research resulting in From “Real Rape” to Real Justice: Prosecuting Rape in New Zealand.  

They emphasized that whilst the nature of the mismatch between the criminal justice system and the realities of sexual offending means that the best results would be achieved through fundamental and systemic change, there are also other more modest changes that could be made if the issue of rape justice was on a government’s agenda.

The very disappointing outcome of the recent review of the Evidence Act (only one recommendation was accepted) and the languishing Law Commission project (no work has been done since the Issues Paper submission process) are clear examples of opportunities missed.

Stella Gukibau and Sue Ngawati Osborne from Tu Wahine Trust and Paulette Benton-Greig from Project Restore highlighted the possibilities for effective and transformational justice processes outside the formal criminal justice system.

Stella and Sue discussed the use of tikanga Maori to work with whanau and to create the chance for appropriate outcomes for Maori.  They also proposed a recommendation of their own: that, building on the positive outcomes from Te Kooti Rangitahi (the marae-based youth court), specialist sexual violence courts be created and embedded within Marae.

Given the reduced recidivism rates from that Court, and the positive experiences in Christchurch of formal courts sitting on marae, that may indeed be a way forward that makes a difference.

Project Restore, which provides specialist restorative justice processes in cases of sexual offending, offers another service delivery model that has the potential to assist more survivors and families, particularly those that are least likely to be served by the formal criminal justice system.

Increased support for these initiatives and for other alternative justice processes was strongly supported by all speakers and the seminar audience.

Acknowledging the great work has been done to create solutions and recommendations to the problem posed by our collective ‘One in a Hundred’ problem and recognizing the need to follow through and demand effective change attendees at the Cartwright Seminar today called on the Minister of Justice to hold sexual offenders to in ways that better meet the needs of victims by:

  • Developing alternative models, including restorative justice and other culturally appropriate processes, to produce better outcomes for all;
  • Developing specialist sexual violence courts for those who acknowledge guilt (including providing treatment for adult to adult offending)
  • Appropriately reforming existing court processes so that defendants are more involved and victims are treated more fairly and in a less traumatizing way.

Our thanks to Women’s Health Action Trust for providing this opportunity to bring attention back to the issues of justice and law reform for sexual offending and to the contributing organisations; Counselling Services Centre, Rape Prevention Education, Tu Wahine Trust.   

Article written by Help. Click here to visit Help’s website.

Sexual abuse: Push for change in sex trials

By Simon Collins, NZ Herald

Raped and abused women should not be ‘revictimised’ by cross-examination in court, Auckland seminar told.

Sexual violence survivors are launching a push for alternatives to jury trials in a bid to avoid retraumatising victims.

Speakers at a seminar in Auckland yesterday said fundamental changes were needed so raped and abused women were not “revictimised” by lawyers’ cross-examination of their sexual histories in front of juries, while offenders could stay silent.

Justice Minister Judith Collins. Photo - NZPAJustice Minister Judith Collins. Photo / NZPA

Justice Minister Judith Collins has halted work on proposals in a Law Commission issues paper last year to change the adversarial court system to an “inquisitorial” system where a judge controls what evidence is presented and how it is given, questions witnesses before letting lawyers fill in the gaps, and requires defendants to give evidence first.

She said last September that it would not be practical to have an inquisitorial system for sexual offences but not for other cases, because sexual offenders might also face other charges.

But former Law Commission deputy head Dr Warren Young told the seminar the Government might still be open to alternative processes for certain cases, because many victims did not want to go to court.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10912060