The Green Party welcomes Paula Bennett's announcement that she will take the lead on sexual violence and urges her to back that up with concrete action and funding, Green Party spokesperson for women Jan Logie said today.
"It's great that Paula Bennett has agreed to be the lead minister responsible for sexual violence issues and I urge her to seize this opportunity to ensure effective, properly funded action and help.
"Too many people in New Zealand are abused - one in three girls and one in eight boys are likely to experience sexual abuse and reporting rates are increasing.
"Reporting is increasing and we need the services to be there so everyone can get the right help. Currently there is no service in Tauranga or Hawkes Bay while men in Otago can only access four hours of funded counselling a week. People with disabilities, the group most vulnerable to sexual abuse, have no specialist services.
"Strong leadership and sustainable funding are desperately needed.
"Apart from personal anguish the costs of sexual abuse have been estimated at over $2 billion and funding to tackle this issue would be money well spent.
"At the moment funding comes from a wide range of different ministries and the community, with no security or single body in control.
"Paula Bennett needs to immediately address funding shortfalls and ensure stability of funding to ensure the sector can deliver the best help to victims," Ms Logie said.
The 'everyone needs the right help' campaign's Facebook page:
Report of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence