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Friday, 19 October 2018 04:23 pm

NZ launches sexual harm crisis line Monday

Apr 14th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

Eva’s Wish CEO Eva McGauley has achieved her goal to create a government-run sexual harm helpline and raise $50,000 for HELP: Auckland.

Sexual harm crisis-line Safe to Talk launches this Monday thanks to Eva McGauley.

The Ministry of Social Development worked with sexual assault awareness charity Eva’s Wish to make its proposal a reality.

The service will include phone calls, texts and a 24/7 online messaging service.

The service has already been a success with its trial in Canterbury, says Marama Edwards, group general manager of community partnerships and programmes for the Ministry of Social Development.

“The helpline has been accessed by people reporting historical abuse, seeking emotional support and access to/or information about local services,” she says.

Eva has been working on the project since mid-2015 after she was diagnosed with terminal nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rare form of cancer.

Her initial goal for the charity she founded was to create a government-run online messaging service and raise $50,000 for HELP (Auckland Sexual Abuse Help Foundation).

Since then Eva’s Wish has grabbed international headlines.

Eva has been interviewed by news sites such as The Daily Mail and Elle.

She has also raised over $120,000, been included in the book ‘200 Women who will change the way you see the world’, and attended the 100 years of suffrage event at Government House where she got to meet her personal hero, former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The ‘Safe to Talk’ crisis line is set to debut this April after a 6 month trial in Canterbury.

“It was awesome,” Eva says.

“Once I said ‘hi’ and introduced myself she knew who I was.”

Eva is most proud of her proposal for the crisis line.

“The first thing I ever did with Eva’s Wish is we wanted there to be an online messaging service for survivors.

“And now we’re launching nationwide in April.

“It’s great to be able to see something that’s there.”

According to Rape Prevention Education NZ, In New Zealand up to one in three women will have an unwanted sexual experience by age 16. The number can be twice as high for Maori and Pasifika women.

Eva says New Zealand has a culture of blaming and forcing survivors to keep quiet.

“We’ve created a society where the victims are the ones on trial not the perpetrators.”

Eva also doesn’t believe she should be the only go-to person to discuss sexual assault.

“I’m not sure I am ‘the’ person. There shouldn’t be one person. There should be many, many, many, people.”

‘Safe to Talk’ will launch nationwide on April 16 2018.

The crisis line can be contacted at https://www.safetotalk.nz, by text at 4334, or by phone for free on 0800 044 334.

For more information about Eva’s Wish: https://www.evaswish.com/

 

 

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