Mobile service Korowai Tūmanako help hundreds of sexual abuse cases

By Hone-Haunui Rapana

Within a decade, hundreds of sexual abuse cases throughout in the Upper North Island have fallen into the lap of mobile service workers of Korowai Tūmanako, many of the volunteers strive to keep the service available for the vulnerable that seek them.

All hands on deck to stop the hands of sexual violence.

Joy Te Wiata says, “It's time that that violence stops. We've seen too many lives harmed.”

Russell Smith adds, “What we're trying to do is stop the harm from happening from the very beginning.”

Korowai Tūmanako is a mobile Māori service provider that supports iwi and families against sexual violence.  Russell Smith says it was time for men to lead this fight against it.

“Men are the ones primarily who commit sexual crimes. For decades we’ve let our women lead the walk and talk on this and it's well over due that we as men need to step up into who we are.”

Joy Te Wiata says, “There's only been a few men, who have had the strength to really step up out there.”

This problem has affected Te Korowai Tūmanako both professionally and personally.

Being the only indigenous service in the southern hemisphere, questions have been raised around the values they practise.

Russell Smith says, “Judge Davis in the North talks about should we be calling ourselves whānau, because the practices of whānau aren't the practices of abuse that we see in the court systems, so we need relations to support each other to be a whānau.”

A Give-a-little page has been set up to help this service continue, they are hoping to raise $5,000 by the end of the Massive march.