National | Justice

HELP Foundation provides pilot service for sexual violence survivors

Image: HELP Auckland

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says the Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation Charitable Trust will provide a 12 month long piloted service to reduce trauma for survivors of sexual violence who are going through the criminal justice system.

She says survivors in Auckland will be provided with support throughout the entire criminal justice process.

“The trauma experienced by these people can be exacerbated if there is insensitive treatment within the justice system resulting in secondary victimisation.”

Sepuloni says Auckland was selected as the pilot location due to its large urban area with a diverse population and a Specialist Sexual Violence Court pilot in operation.

"This work is being done to address a gap in services available to survivors of sexual violence while they are going through the criminal justice system that was identified in the Law Commission's 2015 report 'The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence."

Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister for Justice for Family and Sexual Violence Issues, says looking after survivors makes the justice system stronger.

“This was a recommendation of the 2009 Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence, and it's a huge relief to finally see some progress in this area because looking after survivors makes our justice system stronger."

The Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Justice will make recommendations on future service delivery after the pilot ends on 30 June 2019.