New Zealand Law Society - Sexual violence survivor court support pilot

Sexual violence survivor court support pilot

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The Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation Charitable Trust (HELP) is to pilot a service which aims to reduce the trauma experienced by sexual violence survivors going through the criminal justice system.

The pilot will be provided until 30 June 2019. The Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Justice will make recommendations on future service delivery after this.

Sexual violence survivors in Auckland will be provided with psycho-social support leading up to, during and after the criminal justice process, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says.

“The trauma experienced by these people can be exacerbated if there is insensitive treatment within the justice system resulting in secondary victimisation."

Ms Sepuloni says Auckland was chosen as the pilot location because of its large metropolitan area with a highly diverse population and a Specialist Sexual Violence Court pilot in operation.

“This work is being done to address a gap in services available to survivors of sexual violence while they are going through the criminal justice system that was identified in the Law Commission’s 2015 report ‘The Justice Response to Victims of Sexual Violence,” she says.