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The National Government are not putting their money where their mouth is to support victims of sexual assault and rape, the Green Party said today.
"In the same week that the Government announced their intention to increase awareness of child abuse and put more services into the community sector, Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation found out they will have a shortfall of $200,000 per year and may have to close the only 24 hour sexual abuse phone line in Auckland," Green Party women's spokesperson Jan Logie said today.
"This time last year the HELP line faced the same stress when it was left without sufficient funding and a potential reduction of service.
"Last year the Government committed to help establish a sustainable funding model for the service but it's taken less than a year for them to renege on that commitment.
"Sexual violence reporting rates are increasing and the Government needs to reflect this increasing demand by committing the required funds to keep the HELP line running.
"In 2009, the Taskforce for Action for Sexual Abuse identified the urgent need to increase funding to support services. This has not happened and now even the current meagre resources are being reduced.
"This comes on the heels of the Government's initial granting of a visa for convicted and unrepentant rapist Mike Tyson. Although revoked, this was another demonstration of a lack of real tangible commitment by this Government to support victims of sexual assault and rape.
"This Government's lack of action on reducing violence speaks louder than their words.
"The Government needs to make a true commitment to working long term with the HELP line so that they can get on with providing the help that victims of sexual violence need."