What change can improve the sexual violence support sector to better assist
victims to engage with the justice system?
Who should lead change?
11.2A lack of resources and political power mean that non-governmental agencies can only do so much, yet there is currently no ministerial or departmental lead to assume responsibility for the improvements that are required in the field of sexual violence. We note the work underway across government and endorse calls for government to adopt a greater leadership role and responsibility in reforming the response to sexual violence victims in New Zealand. We believe that government should assume a leadership role for five reasons:
(a) Government is the principal funder of the sexual violence sector and has a responsibility to ensure that money is being effectively spent and is addressing the support and service needs it is designated to meet.
(b) A targeted strategy to implement key areas of reform in the sexual violence sector is needed, as opposed to an ad hoc reactive response to each problem as it arises.
(c) The extent of cross-organisational coordination and consultation that is required means that government is realistically the only body with the resources to facilitate this.
(d) The work of the Law Commission is part of a wider government-led review of the sexual violence sector thus any changes that arise as part of this review could be implemented as part of a package of reform by government.
(e) The impetus for the change recommended here lies in strengthening the justice responses to sexual violence, and justice falls within the domain of governmental responsibility.