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We helped secure the biggest ever investment in sexual health

In 2019, the government announced the largest ever single investment in preventing sexual and domestic violence and providing support for survivors.

ActionStation's Laura O'Connell Rapira and Kassie Hartendorp with Chief Executive of Wellington Sexual Abuse (HELP), standing with Greens co-leader Marama Davidson delivering a petition with a sign that says, “Full funding for sexual violence support and prevention services”.

$131 million went specifically towards expanding specialist sexual violence services as part of a move towards fully funding them. This was the incredible result of years and years of passionate and dedicated campaigning from those on the front line.

Since 2015, members of the ActionStation community have helped to amplify the call for more sexual health funding with three different petitions, hundreds of letters and emails, an open letter on the front page of the Weekend Herald, and a giant billboard on Parliament lawn. 

A billboard that says “Dear Jacinda, tell Grant to fully fund sexual violence prevention and support services in budget 2019, love 13,860 NZ’ers”, with a moving bus in the background.

We launched the report at a press conference — funded and powered by ActionStation members — which helped create waves in the media with coverage from 1 News, Breakfast, Radio Waatea, The Dominion Post, Māori TV and Te Karere.

It’s often difficult to get coverage on TV for a report, so four televised pieces is particularly great - more than 550,000 people tune into 1News each night!

The report recommended that the government:

  1. Make a significant increase in funding in Budget 2019 for sexual violence prevention, intervention and survivor support services;
  2. Empower primary, secondary, and ECE schools to become consent champions;
  3. Make Kaupapa Māori specialist services available across Aotearoa;
  4. Ensure everyone has access to culturally appropriate and accessible services;
  5. Make sure everyone who has caused sexual harm or is worried they could, can get the help they need.

It’s a relief the government has adopted the first recommendation. This is an important start to preventing and ending sexual violence in Aotearoa. We will continue to work with community partners and those on the frontline to ensure people in government implement the other four recommendations for a sexual violence free Aotearoa New Zealand.

A quick note from our team: Around Aotearoa and the world there is a small but committed group of people who donate to ActionStation every month. They are some of the unseen heroes in these stories who nurture our campaigns from the moment they spark into existence to the moment they win.

If you feel moved after reading about what we achieved together, please consider setting up a regular contribution. 

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