Abuse & Rape Crisis Support – Manawatu (ARCS)……..
began in March 1982 in response to a number of sexual assaults that were happening in the community at that time. A public meeting was held to discuss what could be done to stop this violence occurring and from that meeting the Palmerston North Women’s Neighbourhood Action Group was formed.
The three main objectives of the Group were to form a rape crisis phone service; to hold public meetings across Palmerston North to raise the issue of sexual violence;and to provide education on sexual violence to the public. The Palmerston North Rape Crisis phone line began operation in November 1982.
In August, 1984 the Rape Crisis office opened at Square Edge. Since then the organisation has moved from strength to strength, taking on paid employees and developing its services.
The organisation first became incorporated in 1986. We later changed our name in 2001 to the Manawatu Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre to reflect the geographic area covered by the Centre and that our services cover all aspects of sexual violence. By this time the service was located at the Womens Centre, on Waldegrave Street, Palmerston North.
In November 2009 our name was again changed to Abuse & Rape Crisis Support Manawatu (ARCS Manawatu) to more accurately reflect that the programmes we run which encompass the areas of family violence and anger management.
ARCS Manawatu relocated to 10 Linton Street in January 2010, and at that stage had a staff of 5.
ARCS now has outreach offices in both Levin & Dannevirke providing support for Manawatu, Tararua & Horowhenua. We have a dedicated and experienced staff of 14 spread across these area’s providing support and counselling services.