Funding boost for sexual violence response

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 12:12 30/04/2014

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Services for victims of sexual violence will get $10 million in funding over the next two years, the Government says.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett made the pre-Budget announcement today, saying it would provide "immediate stability" and support for victims of sexual violence and their families.

"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," Bennett said.

"The sector requires extra resourcing, especially around the availability of 24/7 crisis callout and emergency counselling services."

The funding would go to frontline crisis-response services, community-based treatment, services for male survivors and people accessing medical and forensic services, she said.

Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew said the right support needed to be provided to those who were working with victims and offenders.

The funding would result in the development of a nationwide prevention package, and a committed focus on improving sector development, funding and governance.

A parliamentary inquiry into funding of specialist sexual-violence services has been ongoing since August last year.

The inquiry has received nearly 1000 submissions and more than 100 people are being heard by the committee this month and next month.

Green Party women's spokeswoman Jan Logie, who sparked the inquiry, said the funding announcement was a "huge win".

"This funding will give those working to support victims the stability they need to get on with their job of looking after the people they work with," she said.

"We look forward to continued government support for these services through the development of a long-term action plan that will provide security for these crucial services, outlasting the two years that this funding announcement covers.

"Support services have been struggling for too long, having to worry about whether they will be able to afford to open their doors, so this long-overdue funding is very welcome."

Finance Minister Bill English will deliver the full Budget on May 15.

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- Fairfax Media

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