5 Jul 2014

Christchurch loses rape crisis centre

7:23 pm on 5 July 2014

Christchurch's only rape crisis centre will close its doors today after being turned down for government funding.

The centre's 24-hour phone service, SafeCare, needs $30,000 to keep running but it is ineligible for any of the $10 million announced in this year's Budget for sexual violence services because it is insolvent.

Spokesperson Heather Smythe said SafeCare had been helping the women of Christchurch for more than two decades and its services would be hard to duplicate.

"We've been running SafeCare for 20 years, and 20 years of experience and knowing the kind of volunteer we need, and the training we need to give them can't be replicated in two minutes or five minutes or a week or a month."

The closure of the service would hit its clients hard, Ms Smythe said.

Christchurch police have recorded a 40 percent rise in the number of sexual assaults since 2010.

Green Party MP Jan Logie said the government should not have let SafeCare's services go under.

Huge loss - Prostitutes' Collective

The Prostitutes' Collective says the closure of Christchurch's rape crisis service is a huge loss for the community.

Canterbury Regional Co-Ordinator for the collective Anna Reed says it would only have taken a small amount of money to keep the centre open, and the government should have stepped into save it.