What change can improve the sexual violence support sector to better assist
victims to engage with the justice system?
Reform of funding of the sexual violence sector
11.50One of the biggest factors underlying the issues raised in this section of the Report and elsewhere in the wider Government review is funding. This is two-fold – firstly, in terms of the availability of funding to implement the reform proposals in this Report and secondly, in terms of the distribution of funding to existing community and government service providers. The issue of funding does not come directly within our terms of reference but the comments here reflect our understanding that adequate funding is crucial in order to improve the experience of victims before, during, and after the justice process.
11.51As part of the wider Government review of how sexual violence services are conducted in New Zealand, it may be that the sector receives increased funding. We consider that there needs to be reconsideration of the funding arrangements of service providers, which are currently dispersed and decentralised and operate counter-intuitively to the victim-centred, wraparound model advocated for in this Report.
11.52There is a risk that centralising funding would alienate service providers across the sector, if it was perceived as a shift towards government seeking to assume control over the sector. However, a funding allocation panel or committee that worked alongside community service providers to determine a more seamless means by which funding can be allocated from government to service providers may be a more attractive approach.
- R74 Government should invest the necessary resources and facilitate the following improvements to the sexual violence support sector:
- Development and implementation of training and education programmes across the sexual violence sector and made available to all those interacting with sexual violence victims in a professional capacity.
- Consideration of whether a recognised accreditation programme based on good practice guidelines to promote the growth of a skilled workforce in the sexual violence sector should be rolled out nationally.
- Creation of an effective monitoring system attached to the accreditation programme.
- Creation of a dedicated research unit (this may be located within an established body) funded to facilitate the application of research into practice standards, with a clear agenda and charged with fostering international collaboration for this purpose. This includes the adoption of data collection programmes.
- R75 A sexual violence commission (see R 76) should be given responsibility for:
- coordinating the scope and nature of services provided; and
- promoting communication and consultation across the sector.