A report in the latest Lancet indicates that sexual violence against women is common worldwide and is a pressing health and human rights concern, says Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont.
The report estimates a rate of 16.4% of NZ and Australian women being sexually assaulted at least once in their lives and that figure excludes assaults by intimate partners.
“The personal, social and economic costs of this offending are huge and the consequences can be devastating and long term.
“The lack of New Zealand Government action despite strong community demand is appalling and is in stark contrast with Australia.
“Labour is working on a comprehensive and long term package aimed at making NZ a world leader in reducing sexual violence. There are overdue changes backed by hard evidence that can be made immediately. These include more funding for rape prevention education and support services for both survivors and perpetrators of sexual violence.
“National is taking too long to act on what is a serious and significant problem. Reducing sexual violence must be a priority.”