Sexual Abuse Prevention Network says we need to address “lower level” harmful behavior before it becomes extreme “neomasculinism”  

Media release for immediate release    02.02.2015 A ‘neomasculinist’ group is planning worldwide meetups on 6 February, including in Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin. The group, led by American Daryush Valizadeh “Roosh V,” cites extremist views, advocating for the superiority of straight men and encouraging followers to rape women. Sexual Abuse Prevention Network General Manager, Fiona McNamara, says “It would be easy to dismiss this group because it is hard to see how anyone can take these ideas seriously, but unfortunately they have managed to build up tens of thousands of online followers.” “While this group represents a small section of society, these extreme views are built on mainstream culture that supports them. Attitudes and beliefs that seem lower level such as jokes or comments contribute to an environment in which extremist views such as these can exist. We need to make sure we are calling up unacceptable behaviour before it reaches this stage.” “Groups like this show that a small number of individuals hold disturbing views, but we know that wider society does not. The vast majority of people do not believe in ‘neomasculinism’ but there are less extreme harmful attitudes that are widespread and need to be addressed.  Sexual Abuse Prevention Network has a high demand from our communities for healthy relationship and intervention skills education. We need more conversations in our communities that promote healthy relationships so that there are clear positive alternatives to harmful behaviour.” This is the first time that in person meet-ups have been arranged, with Valizadeh citing on his website that the group’s views are now known enough that they “do not have to...

Social Services Select Committee report gives no security to specialist services

Media release for immediate release 15.12.15 The Social Services Select Committee released a report on Friday on the 2013 inquiry into funding for sexual violence services. Sexual Abuse Prevention Network is pleased to see that primary, secondary and tertiary prevention initiatives are recognized in the report as necessary to end sexual violence. “We support the recommendation that the Government develops a national violence prevention framework and action plan that would include sexual violence as a major feature” says General Manager, Fiona McNamara. However, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network notes that the report gives no indication of how the sector will be supported in the immediate future. “We understand that it will take some time to develop a long-term action plan. As a sector we need some stability in the short term as well as the long term. Currently we have no guaranteed funding for our prevention services beyond June 2016” says McNamara. “It is disappointing to see little acknowledgement of the work that the specialist sexual violence sector is currently doing to prevent sexual violence. There are a number of effective initiatives happening throughout the country that are led by the sector and it would be reassuring to see a recommendation that the Government supports these.” Sexual Abuse Prevention Network is a collaboration of Wellington Rape Crisis, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation and WellStop. The network delivers primary prevention programmes for rape and sexual abuse in a number of secondary schools in the Wellington Region as well as offering professional development training to professionals working with young people throughout the country....

Culture change needed to stop sexual abuse says specialist agency

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9.11.15 Sexual Abuse Prevention Network calls for the whole community to work together to end sexual abuse, following reports on 8 November of a group of male senior secondary school students from an unnamed school assaulting unconscious girls and posting images online. “We need to be talking to young people about consent and healthy relationships and the same messages need to be reinforced by all parts of society, including schools, parents or caregivers, peers and popular culture” says Fiona McNamara, General Manager of Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. “Young people are growing up in a culture in which forced sexual acts are normalised and this needs to change. We need to make healthy respectful sexual relationships the norm.” “Specialist sexual violence programmes educate young people about sexaul abuse and rape culture as well as healthy sexual relationships and strategies to intervene if you see something dangerous. They are an essential part of creating a culture in which harmful sexual behaviour is unacceptable and in which young people are taught the skills to negotiate mutual, respectful sexual relationships.” “Furthermore it needs to made clear that the behaviour exhibited by these school boys is unacceptable” says McNamara. Sexual Abuse Prevention Network is one of several specialist sexual violence agencies in the country that provides education programmes to prevent sexual assault. Programmes are provided in secondary schools, alternative education, youth groups, marae, as well as specialist training for people working with young people. Sexual Abuse Prevention Network is based in Wellington and works nationally with a focus on the Wellington Region. The Network is a collaboration of Wellington...