October 10, 2013
I have been struggling to find the words for a submission to the select committee inquiry into funding for the sexual violence sector. I thought I would write this epic, moving, eloquent, analytical piece of brilliance.
But I couldn’t do it.
Instead, I’ve submitted to the emotional exhaustion that comes with caring so much about all the harm that it keeps you working and working and working and just said the only few lines I could think of.
I’ve submitted this:
I volunteer for a sexual violence support agency.
The work that is done there is some of the most important work in the world. Lives are saved. Regularly.
The experiences of survivors need to be validated. All survivors are entitled to a safe and accessible place to talk about the harm that has been done to them. Current funding does not enable services to meet the need. People are left to cope on their own.
The workers who support survivors should be valued through strong salaries and the support they need to continue to do the work. Current funding means they struggle to make the organisational ends meet, they worry about the sustainability of their own livelihoods and may even be harmed themselves through prolonged exposure to this work if the right support systems are not in place.
The Government must increase funding for sexual violence support agencies.
The Government must take a strong, explicit stand against sexual violence, sexual assault and rape in our communities.
Everyone’s life is harmed by the existence of rape and sexual abuse. As long as rape and sexual abuse exists, we are all survivors.
Do not leave it up to charity and volunteerism to pick up the tremendous cost of this difficult work.
If you would like to make a submission. Here are some links.
Wellington Rape Crisis Submission guide – http://www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz/blog/submissions