Dialogue on Sexual Violence Prevention Encouraged   1 May 2012

Sexual violence can have widespread and long-lasting adverse effects on health, relationships, employment and the well-being of our families and communities says Women’s Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew.

“For some women, these effects begin in childhood or adolescence and continue throughout their lives.”

Rape Awareness Week is May 1-7 and this year’s theme “Consent is Sexy” aims to engage young people in discussions on preventing sexual violence.

“People need to start talking about this issue, and young people in particular,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Research has shown that around 20 percent of girls in New Zealand have experienced some form of sexual violence.  A history of sexual violence increases their risk of experiencing further sexual violence and other forms of violence.  For example, child sexual abuse victims are approximately twice as likely as nonvictims to be sexually assaulted later in life. 

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is investigating how we can prevent revictimisation, better understand the impacts on victims, and better support these girls and women,” Mrs Goodhew says.

The Ministry is working on this with Government and non-government agencies who work to prevent sexual violence.

“We should also take this opportunity to recognise the valuable work done by those people supporting victims of sexual violence and working in the area of prevention.”

(New Zealand Government)

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