The organization says things are urgent. Photo / 123rf

Disclaimer: This article contains references to suicide.

A male organization of sexual assault survivors said it had to close the doors of two offices due to insufficient funding as demand for its counseling and peer support services skyrocket.

Mosaic chief executive Richard Jeffrey said the organization has seen requests for aid increase 280% in recent years.

As a result, he said he had to close his offices in Kapiti and Masterton because he no longer had the funds to operate them.

Funding from the Department of Social Development (MSD) has stagnated and Wellington City Council has chosen not to provide funding to Mosaic this year.

And the men die.

Manager and peer services advisor Rob McGregor said a man he was in contact with committed suicide while waiting for Mosaic services.

Three weeks is the minimum wait time depending on the organization, and for some clients this help may come too late.

Insufficient funding means Mosaic’s pockets are empty, so even though part-time workers would be available to work longer hours, there isn’t enough money to do so.

In 2018 they had 139 inquiries in total, and last year the organization had 567 people asking for help, 180 of them were people seeking support from ACC .

Jeffrey said MSD funds most of the work on sexual assault in Aotearoa that is not covered by ACC.

He told the Herald, despite their booming client list, that they receive the same funding as other organizations that receive a fraction of inquiries.

“We shouldn’t have a waiting list. It’s dangerous to have a waiting list for sexual violence, not just for men but for everyone.

“People are out there, sometimes hurting each other, sometimes killing themselves.”

Wellington City Council Grants Committee Chair Fleur Fitzsimons said the main reason council had not supported Mosaic in this round of funding was pressure on the grant fund.

She said the charity received a grant of $ 15,000 in 2020 as part of the city’s Covid-19 response funding cycle and that the council is also making a small contribution towards its accommodation costs. .

“The Council will never be the sole funder of these important services, the central government has an important role to play here, I am aware that MSD is also funding this important service.”

In 2019, the government released a budget that said it would dramatically increase the funding available for male survivors of sexual assault, from about $ 1.5 million to about $ 3.5 million per year.

But since then demand has grown steadily at Mosaic, which has now stopped advertising its services because it struggles to keep up.

“Now the younger ones are coming forward, like the teenagers, because they know there is a place to go, the younger ones are also more willing to do something. And the police are more receptive,” said Jeffrey.

In a statement, a spokesperson for MSD said it is currently funding 11 organizations nationwide, including Mosaic, to provide peer support services to male survivors.

“Budget 2019 allocated $ 11.56 million over four years to strengthen support for peer support services for male survivors. By comparison, a total of $ 1.9 million was allocated over three years in Budget 2016 – so this is a significant funding increase.

The statement said MSD funds the provision of peer support services to male victims of sexual abuse, but this does not include counseling services.

“Therefore, MSD is not contracting Mosaic to provide consulting services.”

MSD said that existing data and information from funded providers, as well as the total level of funding available to support these services, was used to decide on the funding obtained by providers.

“As a funded vendor, Mosaic regularly reports details to MSD on the number of people it supports. “

In addition to struggling to access more funding, Jeffrey said counselors’ approval to offer VAC services took many months of waiting and that some of his employees were repeatedly turned down.

ACC was approached for comment last week.

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Source: www.nzherald.co.nz
This notice was published: 2021-06-22 07:15:33

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