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Monday, 19 March 2018 06:39 am

Standing up for victims of rainbow violence in New Zealand

Sep 21st, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Lead Story, News


Sandra Dickson, Project Manager. Hohou Te Rongo’ means ‘to make peace’, and ‘Kahukura’ is the maori word for rainbow.

DOMESTIC violence within the queer community is being tackled head on by a new organisation.

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence is funded by the ‘It’s Not OK’ campaign and recognises the different issues queer and transgender people face within violent relationships.

“Services out there don’t really have a place for people from rainbow communities,“ said Sandra Dickson, the Project Manager.

“I’m talking about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui,transgender, fa’afafine, all of the rich identities that includes.

“Because there’s no visibility for us in those kinds of conversations, it means that the way violence plays out in our relationships can be really hard for us to name and to recognise.”

Members of the rainbow community also report much higher rates of sexual violence outside relationships.

“We get targeted by sexual violence when we’re walking down the street. That’s not something that happens to straight people unless they’re perceived to be breaking those rules,” said Ms Dickson.

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura has launched a survey to help them get a clearer idea of what they are dealing with.

“We want as many people as possible to answer the survey. It’s anonymous and confidential and whether you’ve experienced violence or not, we want to hear from you.”

This will be the first research in New Zealand on sexual violence against trans or intersex people.

International research shows that bisexual women are the most likely group to have experienced sexual violence, with one study reporting that bisexual women were 2.7 times as likely to have experienced rape.

During October, Outing Violence will be travelling around New Zealand holding community hui, starting in Dunedin and ending in Whangarei.

Ms Dickson says there are people throughout New Zealand able to help victims of sexual violence.

“Get some help. Come and talk to some people. Get in touch with us. Get in touch with a rainbow organisation. We know that getting help when you’re experiencing violence works, so we need to start talking about it..

“I would really encourage people not to hope that it’ll get better… but to step out and ask for some help.”

Some other organisations in Wellington and throughout New Zealand who can help victims of sexual violence are WellingtonHelp, Evolve Wellington Youth Service and TOAH-NNEST.

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