New website provides information about justice processes to sexual violence survivors

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A new website to provide information about justice processes to survivors of sexual violence and their advocates has been launched.

The website was developed by the Ministry of Justice to help support victim/survivors of sexual violence through the court process and to help them make informed choices about the actions they take after they've experienced sexual violence. It includes information about sexual violence, getting support, helping someone else, telling police, and the court process.

The website was launched by Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) Jan Logie, who said:

"This new online guide responds to the overwhelming feedback from victims and survivors about the need for better access to information to help them understand the justice process. ... This online guide is a positive step in the right direction. I see this website as a valuable tool that can help victims, their supporters and whānau."

The launch of the guide was welcomed by HELP Wellington.

The online guide was informed by the Law Commission - Te Aka Matua o te Ture report, The justice response to victims of sexual violence: Criminal trials and alternative processes (2015) which recommended wide ranging reforms.

The Ministry of Justice has also released a research report it commissioned, Improving the justice response to victims of sexual violence which also informed the online guide. Its aim was to "explore the experiences of victims of sexual violence in NZ who have journeyed through the justice system in the past three years, with focus on what aspects risk revictimisation or retraumatisation for victims through the justice process and how it could be improved for victims."

The report was written by Gravitas Research and Strategy Limited. HELP Auckland contributed to the research.

Related information

In August 2018, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced a new pilot to support sexual violence survivors going through the criminal justice system - see our previous news story for more information.

Related media

Alison Mau: Time's up; it's not safe for juries to decide on sex crimes, Stuff, 20.01.2019

Justice on trial: Juries obsess on whether victim is a virgin and the length of her skirt, Stuff, 13.01.2019