Homecare Medical has been awarded the contract to develop and operate the 24/7 national helpline for New Zealanders affected by sexual violence, Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley have said.
The Government is focused on developing a more sustainable and integrated national system to ensure victims of sexual violence get the support and services they need at the right time. This free helpline will enable anyone who is affected by sexual violence to be given information, referred to local specialist services, and when required, provided with crisis counselling and support,” Ms Adams said.
Ms Tolley said, “We want to better support victims of sexual violence through a long-term plan focusing on prevention, crisis and on-going support. It’s expected the helpline will initially provide support to around 10,000 victims a year.”
The helpline will be rolled out in two phases with 24/7 phoneline services (including text/SMS and email) and a website available in December 2017, and online chat and social media services from March 2018.
Budget 2016 invested $46 million to develop specialist sexual violence services to better support victims and prevent sexual violence.
The helpline is one of a number of initiatives under the work programme being led by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
Owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health, Homecare Medical runs the National Telehealth Service which delivers free health and mental health advice, support and information including Healthline, Need to talk? 1737, Quitline and other specialist services.