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Council asked to declare Wellington sexual violence free

News from ActionStation
More than 100 members of the ActionStation community are asking the Wellington City Council to make ending sexual violence a number one priority in their 10 year plan.

“Wellington could be New Zealand’s first city free of sexual violence. It’s an aspirational goal but it’s possible, and we support the Council in working towards this vision over the next ten years,” says ActionStation Director Laura O’Connell Rapira.

O’Connell Rapira will be making an oral presentation on the collated submission today.

81% of the ActionStation members who contributed to the submission strongly agreed sexual assault prevention training should become a mandatory part of alcohol licensing regulation for Wellington’s bars and venues.

They also recommended that the Wellington City Council:

• Support education in schools and communities around consent;
• Encourage discussion and awareness about the causes and solutions;
• Support frontline services with sustainable funding;
• Provide guidelines and requirements for safe workplaces; and
• Provide adequate lighting, cameras, and safe spaces

“Every person in Aotearoa New Zealand should feel safe, welcome and included in our communities,” says ActionStation Director Laura O’Connell Rapira. “However around one in three girls will be subjected to an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16, one in five women will experience sexual assault as an adult and one in seven men will be sexually abused in their lifetime.”

In 2014 British Medical Journal the Lancet published a report indicating sexual assault rates of 56 countries. New Zealand had the third highest rate, more than double the world average.

The ActionStation submission on the 10 year plan is part of a national campaign being launched today at 2pm.

More than 100 survivors, students, and helping professionals have signed an open letter to the Government calling for greater investment in preventing, reducing, treating and ending sexual violence.

The open letter asks for:

• All secondary, primary and ECE schools are champions of healthy relationships and consent. This includes training and support for all teachers and administrative staff and the implementation of universal, best-practice, culture and age appropriate primary prevention sexuality education, including education on healthy relationships and consent;
• There is enough government funding available for nationwide coverage of Kaupapa Māori and other culturally-appropriate and properly resourced specialist sexual violence support services to provide 24/7 early intervention following recent sexual assault and ongoing interventions when and where needed;
• We have locally accessible, free, best-practice and culturally appropriate services for self-referral by people who are at risk of causing harm as well as those who have already caused harm and want to change their behaviour.

The 109 signatories include representatives from HELP Wellington, Rape Crisis, the National Council of Women New Zealand, ActionStation, University of Auckland Campus Feminist Collective and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges.

What:
Two oral presentations on the Wellington City Council 10 year plan to declare Wellington ‘sexual violence free’. Community groups will also deliver a three metre high banner that features the ‘Absolutely Positively Wellington’ logo and branding with the addition ‘Absolutely Positively Sexual Violence Free Wellington’.

When:
ActionStation submission: 1.40pm
Wellington HELP submission: 3.25pm

Where:
Committee Room: 1
Wellington City Council
101 Wakefield Street
Wellington CBD

The submission on the WCC 10 year plan from the ActionStation community
• The Open Letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson
• Petition: Prevent, treat and end sexual violence in our communities for good