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Updated and expanded guidelines for sexual violence crisis support services

November 03, 2016 at 3:48 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) has published updated guidelines for mainstream crisis support services responding to survivors of sexual violence.

Good Practice Responding to Sexual Violence Guidelines for ‘mainstream’ crisis support services for survivors - Round two (2016) updates the previous Good Practice Guidelines published in 2009.

The purpose of the revision, involving sector feedback and consultation along with the latest evidence, was designed to:

  • review and update the original principles of good practice for provision of crisis support services to survivors of sexual violence
  • update the research evidence for the principles
  • provide additional guidelines specific to working with survivors from diverse communities.

The updated guidelines were written by lead researchers Julie Wharewera-Mika and Kathryn McPhillips, with input from an advisory group and community researchers.

Principles - The guidelines outline 15 principles and include practice examples for each one:

  • Principle 1: welfare and well-being of the victim/survivor is paramount
  • Principle 2: client-centred and empowering practice
  • Principle 3: value based services
  • Principle 4: client-centred and empowering practice
  • Principle 5: culturally informed and resourced
  • Principle 6: gender choice
  • Principle 7: specialist sexual violence response
  • Principle 8: quality
  • Principle 9: accessible supports
  • Principle 10: therapeutic environments
  • Principle 11: independent services
  • Principle 12: sustainable
  • Principle 13: multiple supports within services
  • Principle 14: working collaboratively both nationally and in our local communities
  • Principle 15: communities working together to prevent and address sexual violence

Proposed critical service components - The guidelines outline 15 proposed critical components of services:

  • Partnership with a kaupapa Maori service provider responding to sexual violence
  • Capacity to provide inclusive services
  • 24/7 telephone and internet communication service
  • 24/7 Call-out service for advocacy and support 
  • Emergency face to face sessions – day-time
  • Follow up Service
  • CaseTracker
  • Court Services
  • Information Bank
  • Resource bank – acute practical need
  • Social Work Support
  • The above to be integrated with recovery and support services
  • Other services as locally determined

Inclusive practice - These guidelines provide information and knowledge of appropriate and safe practices (for frontline staff and services) to improve the experiences of victims/survivors from the following communities and cultures: 

  • Māori
  • Pacific
  • LGBTI+
  • Men
  • Muslim women
  • People with disability
  • Asian

Research and resources: The guidelines also include recent research reports and resources supporting work with survivors of sexual violence.

You can find the guidelines on an interactive website which includes video clips:

The guidelines can also be downloaded as a single file from the Community Research website.

The guidelines and individual reports are also available in the NZFVC library including the previous Good Practice Guidelines (2009).