Help ar­rives for cri­sis ser­vice

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

A sex­ual abuse sup­port ser­vice that has strug­gled to find con­sis­tent fund­ing has signed a three-year con­tract with the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment.

The Help ser­vice cur­rently sur­vives on patch­work fund­ing from ACC, Min­istry of Jus­tice, Min­istry of De­vel­op­ment and donors.

This new con­tract will see the ser­vice add a fur­ther $457,000 per year to its cof­fers.

‘‘This level of com­mit­ment from mul­ti­ple min­istries is a huge en­cour­age­ment to Help and the sup­port­ers who have walked with us on this jour­ney to help sur­vivors of sex­ual abuse, rape and as­sault in our com­mu­nity,’’ cri­sis ser­vice man­ager Aimee Stock­en­stroom says.

The con­tract marks a sig­nif­i­cant step for the ser­vice which has long bat­tled fund­ing short­falls that pushed it to the brink of clo­sure.

Min­is­ter of So­cial De­vel­op­ment Paula Ben­nett says she is pleased to be able to bol­ster the ser­vice.

‘‘I’m work­ing on more sus­tain­able fund­ing so­lu­tions for the sec­tor which I recog­nise has strug­gled at times to pro­vide ser­vices to those in real need,’’ she says.

‘‘We can and will do bet­ter for those or­gan­i­sa­tions and ul­ti­mately the vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence.’’

Help pro­vides a 24-hour cri­sis ser­vice as well as ther­apy for adults, youth and chil­dren and their fam­i­lies. It takes about 12,000 calls a year from vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault and rape.

Ms Stock­en­stroom says one in five women are sex­u­ally as­saulted or raped in their life­time.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion ser­vices cen­tral Auck­land, Waitakere and North­ern districts.

Helped: Aimee Stock­en­stroom from Help is thrilled the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment has stepped for­ward to pro­vide solid fund­ing.

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