The Government has launched a new website to provide information about justice processes to survivors of sexual violence and their advocates, following "overwhelming feedback" from victims and survivors about the need for better access to information.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice on Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues, Jan Logie, has launched the online guide.
It has been informed by a Law Commission report which found the justice system can fail to respond to the needs of people affected by sexual violence, leading to secondary victimisation and low rates of reporting.
“This online guide is a positive step in the right direction. I see this website as a valuable tool that can help victims, their supporters and whānau,” Ms Logie said.
“We know that navigating the justice system can be really difficult and while there will always be variations in the experiences of each person going through the courts, having accessible and easy-to-understand information about the stages of the process helps reduce the stress associated with legal proceedings," she said.
“Along with modern law and whole-of-government efforts through the joint venture to create an integrated system, these operational improvements to the justice system play an important part in improving the response to victims/survivors of sexual violence."
The Ministry of Justice has also released its own report, Improving the justice response to victims of sexual violence, which has informed the online guide.
This details the experience of victims as they progress through the justice system and identifies the opportunities to significantly improve the information and support provided to people as their cases proceed.