Stop the closure of Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence crisis service
  • Petitioned John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand

This petition was delivered to:

New Zealand Government
John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
New Zealand Government
Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
New Zealand Government
Simon Power, MInister of Justice
New Zealand Government
Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development
New Zealand Government
Judith Collins, New Minister of Justice and Minister for ACC
New Zealand Government
Tony Ryall, New Minister of Health

Stop the closure of Auckland’s 24/7 sexual violence crisis service

    1. Kirsty McCully
    2. Petition by

      Kirsty McCully

      Sydney, New Zealand

December 2011


Moments ago John Key’s government got directly in touch with the Auckland Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, committing to “continued funding for the next 6 months” and pledging to work with them to ensure “a sustainable service for the future”.

It’s an extraordinary victory -- for you and everyone else who has been part of the explosion of support for Kirsty McCully’s petition to save the centre.

Just a few short days ago things weren’t looking good. Funding was running desperately low, staff were about to be laid off and almost no one in the public or media was paying attention to the plight of the centre. No one in government was admitting they had responsibility -- in fact no one would even return the centre’s desperate calls.

Kirsty McCully used to work at the centre as a researcher into the prevention of sexual violence in Auckland. She worked alongside what she described as “tireless and committed crisis line counselling staff” and saw how they “are there for people when no one else is, and when no one else understands”.

Kirsty could not accept the closure of this critical service -- so she started a petition to John Key, and worked overtime to contact friends, family, staff and anyone she could think of to get involved. Support for her campaign exploded across the country, as thousands joined her in an urgent call to save the centre.

More than seven thousand people signed Kirsty’s petition on, hundreds posted messages directly to John Key on his Facebook wall, and media attention took off. In fact, PM Key was even questioned about his plans for the centre at a press conference today.

It’s an extraordinary example of people power, and a testament to the power of anyone, anywhere to start, join and win campaigns about issues they care about.

Thank you -- for being a part of saving this critical service, for the sexual abuse survivors who will now have somewhere to turn at their darkest moments, and for the staff who can now continue focusing on their important front line work.

Auckland Sexual Abuse Help is the 24 hour crisis service for those who report rape or sexual violence in Auckland. Unless the NZ government does something urgently to provide proper funding to keep this service operating, it will close in January - less than a month from now, after 30 years providing professional counselling and support to rape and sexual violence survivors. Members of the public can make the government hear how important this service is by letting the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice know they need to take responsibility for keeping this crucial service open, and funding it properly.

Save the 24 hour crisis line - speak up in support of Help for sexual violence survivors.

Send a message about why signed the petition directly to John Key on facebook here:

And join the Facebook group to help stop the closure!/groups/300554253318529/

Recent signatures


    1. A message from Iona Winter, sexual violence crisis line manager

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Tena rawa atu koutou – thanks so much!

      Firstly, we offer our heartfelt thanks to you for taking action to save Auckland's sexual violence crisis line. We've been humbled and overwhelmed by your support. The NZ Government has now committed to interim funding for 6 months for our crisis service, and to finding a long term sustainable funding solution. This is wonderful news for our community, and we're pleased to have this commitment.

      However, we have one further request of you before the year is over.

      We would like you to keep watch to ensure this commitment is followed through with. You've been champions of this service, and we hope we won't need to call on you again, but to ensure that Aucklanders have a viable long term crisis counselling service for sexual violence survivors, please join our facebook group at and become supporters at the link below.

      Ngā mihi o te wā me te Tau Hou - Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

    2. Reached 7,000 signatures
    3. WE HAVE A WIN!

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Congratulations to all who jumped to support Auckland's 24/7 Crisis line!

      The service is saved from closure! They have 6 months emergency funding and a commitment to a long term solution (let's bloody hold them to that!)

      Statement from the service:
      Early this afternoon Auckland Sexual Abuse Help received confirmation from the Government of the following: “Agencies have committed to continuing funding for Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP for the first six months of 2012. Agencies are collectively committed to a process working with Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP over the next six months to ensure a sustainable service for the future.”

      We would like to thank everyone who came forward in support, with overwhelming numbers of people from throughout Aotearoa. This validates the importance of being able to provide a 24/7 service to survivors of sexual violence. We have been humbled and encouraged in continuing to serve the greater Auckland population in the work we do.

    4. Tomorrow...

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Tomorrow is when we find out where this government stands.

      Will they stand with the women and children of Auckland, and with the more than 6,000 people who have put their names to this petition?

      So far, the team from the 24/7 crisis service have no response from the Key government. And we, as petition signers, are receiving form letters in repsonse to our urgent calls to save the crisis service.

      Well, Prime Minister, a form letter isn't good enough. We want a proper response.

      Let's get our petition numbers as high as possible tomorrow - numbers count! Let's make it an issue they can't just ignore on the last day for the government to save the crisis service from closure.

      **Please show your support by coming to the rally to save the service - Friday, 6:30pm, QEII Square, at the foot of Queen Street in Auckland.**

    5. Reached 6,000 signatures
    6. 2 days and counting...

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Quick update: with only 2 days to go, the Key government has failed to even contact the Auckland sexual violence crisis line.

      Along with nearly 3000 people signing this petition and calling on the Key government to ensure this service remains open, we've started getting messages of support from organisations, supportive MPs, and others. That's a great start, but we need to keep going!

      So, if you haven't already, sent the link on to your friends, to organisations you know who have supporter lists.

      Don't forget to join the facebook group too - it's another way to show there are hundreds of people who want to see this service stay.

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures
    8. 3 days to go, no contact from the Ministries responsible for funding

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Auckland's 24/7 sexual violence crisis line has 3 days to go unless the Ministers responsible do the right thing and fund this essential service.

      Crisis services manager Iona Winter spoke out today on TV1 and 95bfm - have a listen here:,

      What she reported was shocking. Having alerted the MInistries responsible, and with only 3 days until the crisis service has to make tough the decision to close, there has been no contact from those responsible in government.

      Iona spoke about what this would mean for Aucklanders reporting rape and sexual assault. It would mean no one was there to pick up the phone, support those in need, or attend to call outs to support those reporting rape and sexual assault to the police.

      Our city and our people need this service. It's not optional. It's essential.

      Keep this petition going - John Key, we will not rest until the service is secure.

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures
    10. You heard it on the TV - crisis service has until Friday to find funding

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Auckland's 24/7 crisis service manager Iona Winter spoke out on TVNZ's breakfast show this morning about the government's failure to provide funding, leaving the service in jeopardy unless funding is found by THIS Friday.

      You can watch the interview here if you missed it:

      We have 3 days to stop the closure, so It's more important than ever to get the word out to our friends, families, and to make contact with supportive MPs, and those who are influential in the Auckland community - who can you contact today to put pressure on the Key govt to do the right thing?

      Keep the petition circulating and join the facebook group!/groups/300554253318529/

    11. Crisis Line closure in the news - watch TV1 at 6:50am Tuesday morning!

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      TV1 will be interviewing crisis service manager Iona Winter in the morning at 6:50am - tune in and text your comments to TVNZ afterwards, let's make sure our voices are heard tomorrow and that Iona has lots of support for speaking up to save the service!

      Post your thoughts on the facebook page afterwards at:!/groups/300554253318529/

      Keep the petition circulating - and keep speaking up about Auckland's 24/7 sexual violence crisis line - it's too important to lose.

    12. Reached 1,000 signatures
    13. Nearly 800, let's go for 1000 today!

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Let's aim for 1000 signatures today to send a really strong message to th NZ government that Auckland's 24/7 sexual violence crisis service must be saved!

      Who can you send this message on to? Co-workers? Friends? Family? Could you post the petition link on facebook? And on blogs you write or read?

      Here's the link:

      And don't forget to join and promote the facebook group - it's another way to show we have community support, and there are resources and info on the group page about what more we can do to stop the closure.

    14. Reached 750 signatures
    15. Wow - we've reached 500 signatures!

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      In just over 24 hours 500 people have signed this petition to save Auckland's 24/7 sexual violence crisis line. Please take a moment to send it on to your networks now - everyone who is back at work this morning can be invited to sign and help save the service.

      Don't forget to join hte facebook group

    16. Reached 500 signatures
    17. Nearly 300 people have signed to save the crisis line in under 24 hours

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      That's 300 people speaking up for the 10,000 who access this service every year - let's keep it going.
      The comments people are leaving on the petition are all the reasons we need to keep sending the message to the Prime Minister - so, if you haven't already, sent the link on to your friends, to organisations you know who have supporter lists to send this too. If we do that, we can get to 500 tomorrow. Don't forget to join the facebook group - it's another way to show there are hundreds of people who want to see this service stay.

    18. Reached 250 signatures
    19. We're over 150 signatures - can we get to 200 today?

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      One supporter has sent this out to every email list or facebook group she's on, another has sent it globally - if we can all get this to our networks today, John Key will get 200+ emails by Monday morning - i think we can do that, right?

      Please encourage your friends to join the facebook group as that's a way of showing we have growing numbers on our side who want to see the service stay.

      Email me at if you want template emails to send around, or if you have other ideas about what we can do to save the crisis service.

    20. Reached 100 signatures
    21. In a few hours we've got over 50 signatures!

      Kirsty McCully
      Petition Organizer

      Let's see if we can get to 100 in the next few hours - please post to every facebook group you are in, and email the link out to your networks. You can do this by posting the link:
      If you're emailing friends, just include a brief para about why you've signed, and why they should too!

      Also, make sure you've joined the Facebook Group to help stop the closure!/groups/300554253318529/

    22. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Jenny Rankine AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
      • almost 2 years ago

      I worked in Auckland Rape Crisis in the 1980s, and I know that this crisis line is live-saving for many women

    • Elizabeth de la Rey WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
      • almost 3 years ago

      Victims of sexual violence often have no one they can talk to.

    • Jennifer Hierl BROOKLYN, NY
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because trauma is often life or death.

      Because the accessability of 24/7 crisis services helped keep me alive, despite lack of other resources. Because crime victims shouldn't be further punished nor ignored. Because sexual abuse is everywhere, and needs to stop being "overlooked."

    • Noemi Elizabeth EUGENE, OR
      • almost 3 years ago

      Having worked as a rape crisis hotline volunteer as well as on call support at hospital, I can absolutely say it is important to keep your services in New Zealand up and running and staffed with as many volunteers and community members as possible. I have fielded calls and hospital visits even from children here in Eugene. The world is the same everywhere for this issue; sexual abuse and predation. This is an important service to your community! Please do not allow it to go by the wayside. Thank you, Noemi Tiama, LMT Eugene, Oregon, USA

    • Paula Al Amudi JAKARTA, INDONESIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because these services are important to all Kiwis, not just those of us currently in NZ.


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