29 Mar Police Minister launches new Victim Support information in six languages
Minister of Police Hon Paula Bennett today joined Police and Victim Support staff and volunteers to officially launch a range of new brochures which will make Victim Support’s services more accessible to victims of crime and trauma with limited English.
The new brochures have been produced in Simplified Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Samoan, and Tongan. They assist with information about Victim Support’s services and how to access them if language is a barrier. The brochures will be available through Police and Victim Support offices around New Zealand.
Minister Bennett also thanked Victim Support volunteers for their valuable contribution to the community, and outlined the government’s investment in 20 new Police ethnic liaison officers. The additional officers will provide Police with additional resources to help Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic communities to go about their lives and business safely and with confidence. Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso congratulated Minister Bennett and the government for its ongoing work to reduce crime and victimisation.
Victim Support provides a range of important practical and emotional support services to help victims affected by crime, trauma, and suicide to participate fairly and fully in the justice system and get through some of the toughest times of their lives. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of charge.
Each year, Victim Support’s more than 600 support workers, mostly volunteers, are there for around 30,000 people. An estimated one in ten of those victims are of Asian descent, and one in three Maori or Pacific.
“Victim Support is completely committed to ensuring that anyone affected by crime, trauma, or suicide has access to the support they need, regardless of their language or country of origin,” said Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso.
“The new brochures provide victims who may have limited English and be less familiar with the New Zealand justice system with important information about how to access our services and be matched to a support worker who speaks their first language.
“Making support available in more languages sends a strong signal to victims from ethnic communities that our justice system works for them. It reflects Victim Support’s core role of making the justice system more accessible, and we hope it also helps to reduce the stigma that is too often attached to asking for help.
“However, making our service accessible in more languages is just the first step in a wider effort to make our services more accessible in ethnic communities,” said Mr Tso.
“It is equally important that we renew our efforts to recruit volunteers from a wide range of communities. I encourage those who may read about today’s event in their community newspaper to consider joining Victim Support as a volunteer.
“For just a few hours a week, you can make a huge difference in the lives of people during their times of greatest need. It is a truly rewarding experience and a unique opportunity to give back to the community.”
Readers interested in learning more about becoming a Victim Support volunteer can contact Victim Support on 0800 865 868 or visit www.victimsupport.org.nz.
Mr Tso encouraged readers too busy to become a volunteer but who still want to help to consider making a donation to Victim Support to support the recruitment and training of other volunteers.
“Many people don’t know it, but Victim Support is a charity which relies on donations from the community to deliver our services,” said Mr Tso.
Readers can donate online at www.victimsupport.org.nz/donatenow or by post to Victim Support, PO Box 3017, Wellington 6140.
The translation and printing of brochures was made possible with a grant from the Milestone Foundation, an independent charitable foundation for the support of Asian culture in New Zealand.
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