Have Your Say
People in the Manawatu have an opportunity to tell parliament what it needs and wants in relation to specialist sexual violence services.
Funding of specialist sexual violence services is the subject of a formal inquiry by the Social Services Select Committee in Parliament.
Ms Ann Kent, Manager of Abuse & Rape Crisis Support (ARCS) Manawatu, wants as many people as possible to have their say on this issue. “The social services select committee’s job is to listen to evidence and advise parliament on how to improve social development in New Zealand. This is our opportunity to tell parliament how those people who have been affected by sexual violence deserve access to quality, timely and affordable support services.”
“It is estimated that at least one in four females and one in eight males are sexually abused in New Zealand”, explains Ms Kent. “This is an issue that affects are entire community.”
“It is also a very costly issue. Apart from the personal anguish, the costs of sexual violence have been estimated by Treasury to be over a billion dollars a year. Yet specialist sexual abuse services for both survivors and offenders see only a tiny fraction of that money.”
“Submissions do not have to be long, just a few sentences explaining what you think is important about specialist services and if there are any gaps. Every submission will help the committee gain an understanding of what is needed”, said Ms Kent
The social services select committee includes members of parliament from National, Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party. Jan Logie from the Green Party initiated this inquiry in partnership with Alfred Ngaro from the National Party.
All submissions need to be received by Thursday, 10 October. Submissions can be made in writing or online by going to www.parliament.nz and follow the ‘Get Involved’ link. Requests can be made to keep personal stories private.
More details are also available on the ARCS Manawatu website, www.arcsmanawatu.org.nz, or by phoning them on (06) 356 5868.
ARCS Manawatu provides support, counselling and groups for survivors of sexual violence and their whanau.