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$1.4m funding boost for campus sexual violence prevention

Thursday 24th August 2017

ACC will spend $1.4 million over the next four years to help prevent campus sexual violence, in a move that aims to help change the culture around sexual violence and consent in New Zealand. 

An anti-rape protest sign.
A protest sign against rape culture.

Photo: creative commons / Richard Potts

The money will go towards implementing a three-year action plan for preventing and responding to sexual violence within tertiary communities. 

The action plan was announced today by New Zealand Union of Students Associations (NZUSA) director Alistair Shaw. 

It includes reviews of tertiary education institutions’ policies on sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention; enhancing reporting systems and support for students; and training and education programmes for residential assistants, staff, and students.

ACC’s violence injury prevention portfolio manager Mike McCarthy said 22 percent of ACC’s sensitive claims in the 2016/17 financial year were from those aged 18-24. A sensitive claim is for mental or physical injuries such as those caused by sexually violent acts. Last year ACC paid out $103 million on treatment and entitlements on sensitive claims, McCarthy said. 

“Our goal is to support young adults so they can experience safe, healthy and respectful relationships.
 
“We see this partnership as a great opportunity for ACC to work with NZUSA and tertiary institutions. Sexual violence and consent is a wider issue for New Zealand. Changing the culture around it is challenging for all of us.”

The announcement was made at today’s launch of the In Our Own Words report, which looks at at the experiences of tertiary students with sexual violence, education, harassment, institutional support services and reporting pathways, ableism, racism and LGBTQIA+ discrimination.

The report was penned by Thursdays in Black National Coordinator Izzy O’Neill and findings were based on responses received by more than 1400 students. 

According to the report, more than 80 per cent of those who answered the question said that they thought sexual violence in student communities was a problem. 53 percent of respondents said they had experienced some form of sexual assault themselves and 49 percent of respondents suspected that a friend had been sexually assaulted. 

These numbers are strikingly similar to the results of a survey of psychology students at the University of Auckland in 1991 by Nicola Gavey, which found 52 percent of women had experienced some form of sexual victimisation.

“In Our Own Words confirms that sexual violence does occur in tertiary and student communities. Now, something must be done about it,” O’Neill said. 

Read the full report here. 

***

WHERE TO GET HELP

LIFELINE – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999
within Auckland


HELP – 09 623 1700 (support for sexual
assault or rape) 24-hour confidential phone
line

RAPE CRISIS – 0800 883 300 (for support
after rape or sexual assault)

SHAKTI – 0800 742 584 (for migrant and
refugee women of Asian, African and Middle
Eastern origin) 24-hour crisis line

OUTLINE NZ - 0800 688 5463 (0800
OUTLINE (confidential support for gender
and sexual minorities 9am-9pm weekdays,
6pm-9pm weekends))

MOSAIC (Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Trust Wellington) – 022 419 3416 24-hour
confidential phone line. Or, email enquiries@
mosaic-wgtn.org.nz

FIND SUPPORT – 0800 735 566 (ACC support
following sexual violence) ISSCclaims@acc.
co.nz or visit www.findsupport.co.nz

 

 



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Susan Strongman is an Auckland-based journalist at The Wireless. She is interested in social issues, human rights and people, but likes to spend her spare time with her cats.
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