Help arrives for crisis service
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.