14 Apr 2015

Rape prevention group 'told not to speak out'

9:14 pm on 14 April 2015

The departing head of a rape prevention group says she was told its funding was at risk if she continued to speak out against Government policy.

Rape Prevention Education executive director Dr Kim McGregor said the comment came in a phone call from a public servant and she was shocked by it.

And she says that she and national sexual violence survivor advocate, Louise Nicholas, toned their comments down after they discussed what had been said.

"I had a phonecall when I was at RPE and our funding was threatened because we were being advocates, we were speaking out against Government and that was quite shocking to me at the time."

She also said millions of dollars in education was needed to create a culture change and combat new threats to women from internet pornography.

"Our young people have easy access to very very harmful pornography," said Dr McGregor.

"We know that young women are complaining about their boyfriends asking them to perform acts that come straight out of pornographic material and it's degrading, violent sexual acts."

Dr McGregor said she was resigning now because her organisation could not afford for her to continue concentrating on national advocacy when there is so much work needed to improve rape education in Auckland.

Debbi Tohill, chair of the organisation's board, is standing in as executive director.