Events for Rape Awareness Week

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Aroha, consent and respect are the key messages behind Rape Crisis’ awareness week.

Rape Awareness Week runs nationwide from May 1-7, and the Dunedin organisation is hosting a range of events in the city.

Rape Crisis Dunedin’s funding and resource co-ordinator Zoe Hayes said sexual violence issues were still prevalent in New Zealand.

“It’s really important to have this week to raise awareness for these issues.

“It lets survivors know that organisations like ours are here and that support is out there.”

Locally, there were still people who did not know about the organisation.

“It’s good to connect and show the community that we are here.”

Staff and volunteers were available to help people and share resources.

“They are not alone.”

Miss Hayes said the five events were aimed at highlighting its theme of aroha, consent and respect.

The organisation has partnered with the Otago Polytechnic Students’ Association to host its fundraising clothing swap on Thursday next week.

Organisation staff and volunteers will be on hand to talk to people about what they do and how they can help.

A “Flash Day” will be held on Friday, May 3, where four artists from Agency Inc will be tattooing people and giving half the profit to the organisations.

Miss Hayes got the idea after seeing a similar initiative on social media.

A street appeal, variety show and “Salon Series” is scheduled to be held at the weekend.

Volunteers were still needed for the street appeal.

The organisation will team up with Te Whare Tawharau, the University of Otago’s sexual violence centre, for a hui on May 7.

Miss Hayes said it was important to collaborate with other services in the community, and she wanted to change the seemingly “confronting” nature of the organisation and make it positive.

People who want to give items to the clothing swap can drop them at Rape Crisis or OPSA from May 1, or take them on the day.