From the Momentum Waikato Annual Report 2023 - see full report in PDF.

Victim-survivors of sexual violence don’t want to talk about what’s happened to them, so it is critical they can safely tell their story once, and once only, to get the immediate help and ongoing support they need.

“The first door they knock on has to be the right door,” said Dr Kate Taylor, Trust Chair of the Midlands Sexual Assault Support Service (MSASS).

“Victim-Survivors don’t have the capacity to advocate for themselves, you can’t send them elsewhere, they won’t make a second call. Our service ensures they get support, without having to repeat themselves.”

The Service’s financial current support comes from various arms of government, so is never completely guaranteed to continue.

“We are delivering way more than we’re funded to,” said Kate, “and we are not meeting the demand now, so we need to grow, diversify and secure our funding.”

With this eye to the long term, the MSASS trust set up its own philanthropic investment fund with Momentum Waikato in April 2023, founded with its own reserve funds and donations.

“The investment income from the Midlands Sexual Assault Support Service Fund at Momentum Waikato will go into sustaining and expanding our ability to help victim-survivors of sexual violence,” said Kate.

The need for MSASS is significant - sexual violence is much more prevalent than most people believe. The most recent New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey said that 78,000 adults, some 1.9% of the adult population, one in fifty, had been subjected to sexual violence in the last year.

“If you walk through our door at Midlands Sexual Assault Support Service, it is no reflection on you, have no qualms about asking for help, you have come to the right door,” said Kate.

“We are a safe place for everybody. Our values are professional excellence, purpose-filled connection, to be trusted and to deliver a reliable service.”

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