ProCare Foundation has awarded Help Foundation a grant to extend our Dear Em programme into intermediate and secondary schools. We will be providing 'peer to peer' sessions with our Dear Em youth workers. This is an exciting project with a target of 40 sessions this year. Huge thanks to the foundation. #ProCareFoundation
Tamara Waugh is a handy person to know in a crowd. She knows exactly what everyone around her is doing and the location of the nearest exit. While having eyes like a hawk may sound like a helpful trait to have, there's a heart breaking reason behind her hypervigilance - she's endured years of sexual abuse. She is looking for ways to escape and keep safe!
You can listen to Tamara’s story here .
Tamara is aware that this is a time where everyone is expected to be full of happy smiles and Christmas cheer, when in reality that might be extremely far away from how a survivor may actually be feeling.
There are many survivors of rape and sexual abuse who don’t see their families, which can make this time of year even more difficult because there is a big emphasis on family life.
Sexual abuse is much more common than is generally known because it is still such a sensitive subject that many people are uncomfortable admitting it has happened to them. By the time survivors are ready to ask for help, sometimes years later, the abuse may have had a devastating impact on many aspects of their life. It can affect emotions, behaviours, relationships, family life, and educational and professional achievement. Survivors of abuse may experience anxiety, flashbacks, depression, eating disorders, addictions, self-harm and suicidal feelings.
HELP can’t take away what has happened but we can help survivors find a way to move past it and lead an empowered, fulfilling life. And we can give young people (and their parents, teachers the tools to keep themselves as safe as possible from abuse. Whether you can give time, skills or money to support our work, we need you. Help us to prevent abuse and support survivors of abuse and continue supporting survivors like Tamara.
We knocked the Bridge off! What a walk / run by a team of 14. We had staff, board members, family of staff, kindergartens, students and general public supporting us. We have raised nearly $10,000 and delighted with the effort. Thank you all. You can still donate to the team now.
Art and Canape evening with Mary Kisler
Our night on the 31st October featuring Mary Kisler, Senior Art Curator, raised $10,000 for HELP Auckland.
A big thank you Kelliher Charitable Trust for hosting the event. Chef Kit Perera for chef for a night for 12 people and Paul Van Dorp with Terrace Downs for a week for four people through our live auction. Lynn Clayton Fine Art Photography for her piece of art work as well as all of the silent auction donors.
We could not have done it without you all.
The report, titled Attrition and progression: Reported sexual violence victimisations in the criminal justice system, analyses 23,739 sexual violence cases reported to police between July 2014 and June 2018. Conviction rates have NOT improved since the last report four years ago.The data showed that for every 100 sexual violence incidents reported to the police, only 31 made it to court, 11 resulted in a conviction and six in imprisonment.
Low conviction rates remain challenging especially for cases involving children. HELP Auckland would like to see changes to the court process for children. Children are put into situations as if they're small adults, and while the legislative changes are going to address that to some degree in terms of ensuring children can understand the questions put to them, it still seems that our processes are fixated on criminal justice rather than getting children safe. Jan Logie, MP, has announced changes to the court system recently and improvements are being implemented.
The long awaited Public hearing into child abuse in state care has begun.
Survivors of child abuse testified before a New Zealand state commission as the nation opened a two-week public hearing. Around 100,000 children and adults were taken from their families between 1950 and 1999. We await the results.
A support group is backing a new service to help reduce trauma for sexual violence survivors. The pilot programme, announced by Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni on Monday, will offer sexual violence survivors psycho-social support from Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation (HELP) as they move through the court system. It is being trialled for a year in Auckland.
HELP Executive Director Kathryn McPhillips said people entering the justice system often feel re-victimised and the programme will help people deal with those feelings. "Primarily it helps people learn to manage what's going to happen to them in that process," she told Newshub. Ms McPhillips believes the programme will make a difference and could lead to more convictions in sexual violence cases. "The right kind of support provided to survivors can mean that conviction rate rises," she said.
6pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Kelliher Charitable Trust, Parnell
Mary Kisler, Senior Art Curator at Auckland Art Gallery, will present her book on Frances Hodgkins’ life and art work ‘Finding Frances Hodgkins’. Frances was one of our most talented artists and as you can see a truly amazing spirit with her own determination and individuality during a challenging era for women.
Feel like you are travelling through Europe with Mary and Frances!! A special night not to be missed!
Auction prizes and raffle on the night.
Tickets: $75 pp or $140 for two includes wine and canapes.
Tickets through email@example.com
Legal changes to occur to support sexual abuse survivors. Ms Logie announced the changes at Auckland’s HELP sexual abuse support foundation, and its executive director Kathryn McPhillips said complainants often view the tough court process as "the second rape". Ms McPhillips called the planned changes mind-blowing.There is also a focus on judges in the changes, who would be required to intervene when there is "improper questioning".Defence lawyers are also set to get more training for work in sexual violence cases.
HELP opens new office in Albany Village to offer support sessions for people on the the North Shore. Sylvia Yandall, Crisis Team Manager, with our Kaumatua, Papa Fred, officiated at the opening on Monday.#listensupportheal
Speake: Ruth Diver, Translator
Friday 16 August, 6.30 – 8 pm
Venue: Time Out Bookshop, Mt Eden
Koha donations to HELP.
To book email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for a celebration of this extraordinary memoir of recovery from childhood sexual assault. A powerful new voice in the #MeToo conversation, The Little Girl on the Ice Floe is an unflinching yet luminous account of the author’s rape at age nine, her long road to recovery, and the trial of the serial rapist twenty years later. A heart-breaking, triumphant true story.
The evening will include a reading by the translator, Ruth Diver, followed by a discussion and Q&A with a team-member from HELP Auckland, the charity providing support for sexual abuse survivors.
Wine and nibbles provided. Go into the draw to receive a copy of the book signed by the author.
Need On October 20th HELP Auckland is putting together a HELPathon team in each of these categories at the Auckland Marathon. Something for everyone!
This EveryDay Hero page helps you ask friends, family / whanau, colleagues, gym buddies and the rest of your mates to support you and HELP Auckland.
After you have made your EveryDay Hero page, click here, you will still need to register yourself with the Auckland Marathon here.
Teeshirts provided for training and the event. Cheerleaders and lots of support prior and during the event. Party at finish line!!
Do it yourself or make a team. Create a crazy name and make a day of it!
You could be a ‘Me Too’ person or a 'You Too' as you will know someone!
Need more information email email@example.com
The Government will spend $320 million on a package of initiatives aimed preventing family and sexual violence and breaking the cycle of violence. A great thank you to Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Under-Secretary Jan Logie and the other 8 Ministers contributing to today’s announcement of $130 million over four years to increase service capacity responding to the impacts of sexual violence, and further funds to improve the justice response. This acknowledges what we have long known, that sexual violence is one of the key issues undermining the well-being of New Zealanders!!
In New Zealand, sexual abuse is one of the key social problems undermining the health and well-being of our population today. However, for a myriad of social reasons it is often left undiscussed and unaddressed.
People are becoming more and more aware of the disastrous impacts of sexual abuse and the shocking prevalence of it here in New Zealand / Aotearoa. The recent TV coverage has highlighted not only the appalling incidence in our communities but also in parliament!
Research suggests that up to 1 in 3 girls might be subject to an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16 and international studies have tended to find a figure of 1 in 7 boys. In 50% of cases, abuse occurred on multiple occasions.
As a result of the increase in demand we have had to close our books for those who need ongoing counselling until more resources become available. The people affected by our service limitation are girls from age 2 years, boys up to age 8 years with their family / whanau; youth and women up to the age of 70 years. Our clients come from all walks of life but are predominantly low income, high need children, youth and women.
We desperately want to open our waiting list up again so that we can see more clients in need of urgent counselling and support. HELP needs two more part time counsellors urgently. That is $33,547 each. This will allow us to open our waiting list again.
Can you help us raise this amount? We all know someone impacted by sexual abuse and/or assault – maybe you are a ‘Me Too’ survivor.
We congratulate the government on the new fund to support sexual abuse in the community! Well done Jan Loggie for her advocacy to make this happen. This will still leave us with a shortfall in our funding.
In the words of a survivor:
“Words cannot express the gratitude and thanks that I would like to say, but thank you, and the thought that I am on the right path may give you comfort for the work that you do”.
We are committed to continuing to provide specialist services to help victims become survivors as they reclaim their lives after the devastation that sexual violence causes.
Should you wish to talk directly to our new fundraiser, Ruth Davy, about volunteering, supporting us in kind or running an event or leaving a legacy in your Will contact us here.
Your donation is gratefully appreciated.
Welcome Ruth Davy to HELP Auckland as fundraiser. Ruth will be establishing ‘peer to peer’ platforms for fundraising, an annual awareness and fundraising campaign and regular events. Watch this space. Ruth has led not for profits for 27 years and is delighted to be able work with HELP. Her passion to make a difference and her skill creating fundraising systems are welcomed by us all. #fundraiseforacause
If you would like to talk to Ruth about running an event, supporting HELP, joining the Auckland Marathon with the 'Helpathon' team email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week we started to look at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse from people around children, specifically during babysitting. This week we are talking about sleepovers and how adults can help kids be safer from sexual abuse while they’re staying away from home.
Because some sexual abuse happens during care moments, sleepovers are safer when your kids can bath, toilet and dress themselves. Before this, it is a good idea to restrict sleepovers to people you know best.
Before the sleepover, check out the plans for the night. Find out who will be supervising and find out where the kids will be sleeping and who else will be there. Check with your kids whether they genuinely want to sleepover with the other children. Make sure that they’re not feeling pressured or attracted by something else in the house like games, toys, xbox etc. and that they will not have access to R rated games/movies/internet.
You can let the adults at the sleepover know about your family’s ‘touching rules’ and ‘no secrets’ rule in your family by saying something like “oh I thought I should probably mention that if Jo says something like ‘I’m not allowed to keep secrets’ or mentions ‘touching rules’, that it’s something our family has recently put in place. Touching rules are rules for private parts and say that it is ok to touch your own, it is not ok to touch someone else’s, and it is not ok for someone else to touch yours’. It is something we are heard about through HELP: Auckland. If you have any questions about any of it, please sing out”.
Arrange to call your child before bedtime to check their comfort levels. Make sure they know they can phone at any time – even in the middle of the night- if they are worried or concerned. It can help to arrange this in front of the sleepover parents so they know what you will be doing.
This Week’s Activities
Make a reminder list in your phone to use when your child has sleepovers. The list could include prompts like:
This week we will look at Babysitting and how to set up safer informal child care so that kids are safer when you’re not around.
It’s useful to understand that around half of all offending against children is done by teenagers (both male and female), and that teens who sexually abuse will often do so during baby-sitting. Babysitting (and sexual abuse) can be done by people of all ages so precautions should be taken regardless of the age of the babysitter.
You can minimise risk associated with informal childcare (babysitting) by:
Please note, if you have an older child who has started babysitting other children you might like to talk with them about how they can also help keep kids safe by following the above strategies. You can also encourage them to talk with you about how comfortable they feel with the family they are babysitting, and develop specific strategies for minimising the time they are alone with the adults of the family (for example when they are being dropped home after babysitting). Being employed by another person should never make someone feel they cannot speak up about something that makes them uncomfortable.
How did you get on with last week’s activities around secrets? We heard that one child clearly told their grandparent that they couldn’t keep a sneaky feed of fish and chips secret from their mum because their household ‘only had surprises not secrets!’. Super cute and great to see children taking on the ‘no secrets’ rule so thoroughly.
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at the people in children’s lives and how to minimise the risk of sexual abuse from them. A key part of this is to understand what clues might exist that someone is unsafe around kids.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell who is a risk to children by just looking at them. It is also not useful to assume someone is safe around children because they are in a position of trust (e.g. father/uncle/mother/grandparent/sibling), as most people who abuse children are known and trusted by the family.
If we want to protect children from sexual abuse, we need to notice WHAT people are doing around children, not WHO they are.
Positive behaviour to look out for in adults and older children include:
People who sexually abuse children often encourage children to keep what they are doing a secret using:
Make sure that children understand they should never keep a secret about any kind of touching, and that they won’t get into trouble if they tell you about any kind of secret.
This Week’s Activities:
Part of helping to prevent child sexual abuse is being able to identify other people’s unsafe behaviour around children.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify people who sexually abuse children. This is because people who harm children do not look any different than other people, and are most often people known and trusted by the family. Often, they are also members of the family and may be a child or young person themselves.
People who sexually abuse children typically ‘groom’ or prepare the family and child so they can carry out the abuse. They first usually gain the trust of the family, and then move on to create a special bond with the child, and make opportunities to be alone with the child. This process is called ‘grooming’.
Sometimes children are threatened to keep quiet about the abuse, and other times the child is encouraged to see the behaviour as a special or positive thing.
The first thing adults can do to identify possible ‘grooming’ is to look beyond WHO the people are around our kids, and focus on WHAT they are doing. While it is often difficult to see, there are some behaviours that might indicate that someone is ‘grooming’ you or your child for sexual abuse. Look out for people who:
Now that the kids have identified some adults they feel safe talking to, it’s important they also understand that there are some situations where adults might be busy or not be able to hear what they have to say. This doesn’t mean that they should stop telling, but more that they might need to keep telling until someone helps.
It is important for adults to also remember that children can express their distress in a variety of ways other than telling, and that it is our job to keep an eye out for behavioural, emotional or physical signs that they might not be ok (https://www.helpauckland.org.nz/childrens-sexual-behaviour-whats-normal-and-whats-not.html ). If we notice signs that a child is not ok, we can call a service like Safe to Talk helpline, Oranga Tamariki, a parenting centre, or HELP to ask for support about what to do next.