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Government throws lifeline to sexual abuse helpline

Published: 5:10PM Friday December 07, 2012 Source: ONE News

  • Social Development Minister Paula Bennett on Breakfast. (Source: Breakfast)
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett on Breakfast. - Source: Breakfast

Social development minister Paula Bennett today met with Auckland Sexual Abuse Helpline (ASAH) and agreed to an interim funding arrangement with contributions from health, social development and police.

"I've heard their concerns and the Government is prepared to step in to keep the service running without interruption," says Bennett.

They have also committed to a sustainable three-year contract, with negotiations to be finalised in April 2013.

Ministers want to ensure that victims of sexual violence have a service that can be relied on and that those services are available when needed.

"Police have an important relationship with victims of sexual violence and see a role in supporting these services," says police minister Anne Tolley.

The health, social development and justice ministries, police and the Accident Compensation Corporation have already committed $286,000 for the next 18 months.

"It's difficult to secure funding within tight fiscal restraints and many providers have adjusted services to ensure continuity," says Bennett.

"I am pleased that we will be able to provide funding certainty for ASAH through a three-year contract," she says.