One of my first media releases as an MP, in December last year, was in defense of the Auckland Sexual Abuse 24 hour phone line.
Since then, I have asked questions of the Government in response to the loss of funding to Wellington Rape Crisis; the lack of systems to enable women, on the DPB, who are leaving violent relationships to access the exemption from work testing; the safety from sexual assault for transgender prisoners; the loss of funding to women’s refuge; the shelving of the review of pre-trial and trial processes for victims of sexual assault that mean only 13% of complaints result in conviction;s, and now again I’m asking about the loss of funding to Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Services.
I spoke to Louise Nicholas about the helpline last week and she’d just that week, spoken to a woman, in the middle of the night who was in that terrible stage of healing where she’d lost hope and was suicidal. It is no exaggeration to say the 24 help line saves lives. It is no exaggeration to say the system as it is now is costing us all dearly.
Sadly in almost every single case the Minister has shared my concern – and done nothing.
I’m not happy with just keeping Mike Tyson out of the country, or temporary solutions when the spotlight comes on. We need long term sustainable solutions that provide the services that victims need to heal.
Sexual abuse can destroy lives. Every survivor deserves the right help.