The Ministry of Social Development reporting that they will not renew the funding given to Louise Nicholas, a prominent advocate against sexual violence is absolutely disgraceful, National Party Leader Judith Collins and Louise Upston National’s spokesperson for Social Development say.
“Louise Nicholas is a pioneer for teaching Kiwis how to speak out against sexual violence. For over 12 years her work was supported and funded by the Government, but the Ministry has now turned their backs on her which is only a step backwards for sexual violence survivors.
“The Justice system is not always an easy one to navigate. After being through something so traumatic, victims and their families can find comfort in having people like Louise, who are there to work with the survivors to reach vindication.” National’s cross government approach to sexual violence prevention, treatment and access to justice means independent advocacy has an important part to play in ensuring services meet the needs of victims.
It’s absolutely appalling the decision not to renew the funding for Louise Nicholas’s advocacy. While is good to see the introduction of regional advocates, National Sexual Violence Survivor Advocacy is needed as well. Louise plays a very important role in what is already a traumatic experience, and works to make those suffering feel served by Justice system, Ms Upston says.
“The Ministry have spent $6.3 million on the Court Support Service to help survivors access Justice. However, those who are under-18 will not be able to access the service and Oranga Tamariki does not have a dedicated court support service for child providers.
“The National Party would reverse this decision immediately. We strongly advocate for the victims and families of sexual violence. Louise Nicholas plays a tremendous part in helping the survivors, this is something that needs to continue to operate, and a National Government would ensure this happens.”
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