October 23, 2014
Prevention work leading to disclosures
A kaupapa Maori sexual violence clinician says the far north is sick of sexual offending and is starting to take action.
The Kaitaia area has been plagued with a rash of high profile cases since former Pamapuria School deputy principal Joseph Parker was found guilty of a string of offences against his pupils.
In the latest incident, tribal leader Mangu Awarau has pleaded not guilty to alleged charges involving a young girl dating back five years.
Russell Smith from Korowai Tumanako says over the past decade a lot of sexual violence prevention work has been done in the area, and it is paying off as young people feel they can disclose offences against them.
"We need to address this full on and we need to do what we need to do to get help to the survivors of this type of harm and also help the people who had this harmful behaviour or who are committing sexual abuse. If you can stop it at the head, it reduces the ongoing harm. If you can prevent one person from sexually violating another person, that is a lot of work that doesn’t need to be done and a lot of money that doesn’t need to be spent," he says.
Mr Smith says groups like He Korowai Trust are taking the lead in addressing the issue in their community.
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