Sexual abuse survivor says Government funding for preventative and support services 'life-saving'

Source: 1News

A 23-year-old sexual and domestic abuse survivor has spoken out today, saying she welcomes the Government’s financial investment into family sexual violence and support services.

The Government is set to invest $320 million into family sexual violence and support services as part of a "major cornerstone" in the Wellbeing Budget, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

The budget package is expected to deliver more support services to more than one million New Zealanders; provide funding for major campaigns aimed at stopping violence from occurring; and create major changes to reducing the experiences of trauma victims, Ms Ardern and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jan Logie said today.

New Zealander Brodie Joyce was abused by her then step-father up until the age of 21.

Now 23, Ms Joyce who is studying criminology, says funding into preventative and support services is “well-needed.”

“When I read it I was just like 'oh yes, thank God' because it’s completely underfunded, she said.

Ms Joyce says money should not hinder abuse victims from being able to get the help they need.

“I think that's really important as well, you're basically saving lives putting more funding into those organisations who can counsel people."

Abused domestically and sexually up until the age of 21, Ms Joyce said something “flicked a switch” and she knew she had to disclose what had happened to her.

“I finally accepted what had been going on and realised that it needed to stop, otherwise I would be afraid that it would go on potentially for the rest of my life."

Today, Jacinda Ardern said the family and sexual violence problem in our country is something “New Zealand is ashamed of".

"Every year, about one million New Zealanders are affected by family and sexual violence, including almost 300,000 children.

"This is something I know New Zealand is ashamed of and the Government is taking a major step forward in fixing in the Budget,” she said.

The family and sexual violence package, set across eight different Government portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple Government departments, Ms Ardern and Ms Logie said in a statement.