AUTHOR: Te Puna Aonui
This 2022 paper reflects the experiences of children and young people within the family violence and sexual violence systems, and the opportunities for improving how we work to prevent, respond, and help them heal and recover from these forms of violence.
Emerging themes identified in the paper include:
- Education and knowledge are key ways to support children and young people
- Children and young people require tailored services and workforces that can meet their specific needs
- Agencies (government and NGOs) must change and work cohesively to support holistic needs of children and young people
- Include children, young people and those who support them in the work to address family violence and sexual violence
The paper also highlighted findings from the 2021 Survey of sexual harassment: Christchurch Girls’ High School. These included:
- More than half the participants described feelings of discomfort, nervousness, degradation, upset, embarrassment, fear, and intimidation as a result of the harassment they experienced
- Sexual harassment was most likely to take place outside school5 while socialising or attending events, and on public transport
- The vast majority of participants did not report incidents of (sexual) harassment, citing being ashamed or embarrassed or fearing being blamed as barriers that hide potentially serious crimes.
- They called for school and society to be more supportive through better education, services and acknowledgment of the issues – meaning that there is a need to stop tolerating and allowing any kind of sexual harassment.
The report identifies 'bottom lines' for children and young people, to inform the development of the National Strategy and Action Plan