Wellington, New Zealand
10 August 12.00pm
Kiwibank was right to refuse the business of sex-trade operators exploiting women and children, says Wahine Toa Rising, a newly-formed organisation led by survivors of the trade in New Zealand.
Spokeswoman Ally Marie Diamond said “we were gutted to see Kiwibank turn its back on the exploited women of Aotearoa. Seeing the stand they took filled many of us with hope that our voices might finally be heard. It hurt to see them being discouraged from supporting sex-trade survivors, and by the NZPC of all people. ” Wahine Toa Rising wrote as an organisation to Kiwibank, to express their disappointment.
“The NZPC might say it is a job like any other – we know that isn’t the case. That’s why it was so heartening to see New Zealand’s own bank make a stand for exploited women and children, who want a way to exit the sex trade.
Leaving the sex trade isn’t as easy as supporters of full decrim think, says Ms Diamond. “For women it can be more dangerous than trying to leave an abusive partner. We have support in place for women leaving violent relationships. Why wouldn’t we want any woman or child to be supported to leave a violent, sexually exploitative, commercial situation?”
Kiwibank has not responded to Wahine Toa Rising, yet. “We really hope to hear from Kiwibank”, says Ms Diamond. “They showed such leadership for this neglected, disadvantaged sector of our society.”
Wahine Toa Rising is calling for specialist services to be freely available to women and children in or post-explotation in the sex trade in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Although her organisation works with other groups with to ensure women and children have the right to live free of the sex trade everywhere, including in New Zealand, Ms Diamond believes it is our Government’s responsibility to ensure that these services are funded and best quality. “We hear a lot about being kind to our most disadvantaged. It’s election year”- says Ms Diamond, “let’s hear what our political leaders have to say about this.”
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Wahine Toa Rising is a voice for vulnerable, exploited women and children in Aotearoa New Zealand