Save Auckland's only 24/7 Rape Crisis Helpline
UPDATE: Tonight's rally is cancelled as the Government has come through with 6 months of emergency funding.
Auckland's only 24/7 Rape Crisis Helpline is in danger of going from 9 to 5pm, or not at all due to a lack of funding. As LudditeJourno highlights, this is the only crisis line that caters 24/7 for women that have been raped and need help going to the police. It is worth reposting LudditeJourno here at length, as this is an excellent piece detailing the issues at stake:
The Report for the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence started life under the last Labour Government and revealed decades of under-funding of services for survivors, family/whanau, and those with sexually harmful behaviour.
The 2009 comprehensive roadmap called for "urgent and immediate" funding to ensure services in the community could continue, let alone develop. Did you know most crisis line services in Aotearoa are run by volunteers? And that many services have wait lists to see clients, just because there are not enough paid staff?
Most survivors cannot contain their needs to nine to five. Firstly because that's not when most rapes happen. And secondly because it's not when many survivors need to talk about flashbacks and terror, receive help to cope - that's at night, or on the weekend, or when something reminds them of what happened to them, or when they feel unsafe.
At the moment one of the many marvellous helplines open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for survivors to call is Auckland Sexual Abuse Help. They run the only helpline in Auckland (there are others in South Auckland) which can respond if someone is raped and needs help going to the Police or medical services.
While Refuge services in Auckland are cutting back their hours because they are too poorly funded, it's even worse at ASAH, which has been working with survivors for
29 years. In January 2012, unless some "urgent and immediate" funding materialises, ASAH will no longer be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Such services are absolutely essential, particularly given the backdrop of cuts in government funding that mean that there are few other avenues for women to pursue help. The National government in its last term tightened the rules around receiving counseling following rape through ACC, meaning that nearly 90% of claims were rejected. Rape crisis counsellors have said that some people have committed suicide as a result of not being able to get access to these services. It is therefore imperative that in New Zealand's largest city, we do have a helpline that is available for people who go through this traumatic experience to be able to access. Saving the helpline saves lives.
The Handmirror has organized the following events, please alert people as this is very short notice.>Crisis Cake Stall
WHEN: 11am, Friday 16th December
WHERE: Outside Nikki Kaye's electorate office, 82 College Hill, Freemans Bay.
WHO: Anyone really who wants to show support for the service, and the organisation in general.
WHEN: 6.30pm, Friday 16th December
WHERE: QE2 Square, opposite the Britomart Train Station
WHO: All welcome, bring your ranty voices!
Facebook event with more info is here.
If you can only make one and are trying to pick then I recommend the evening event, as that's where numbers will be most important. Although, if the funding from Government is pledged before 6.30pm then it may be cancelled (in which case I'll try my best to put an update on the blog).