Sexual Violence Prevention in Pōneke

Learn how we are helping to prevent sexual violence in Wellington.

The urban design hikoi walking down a laneway in central Wellington.

Background

In late 2020, local communities raised concerns about safety in central Wellington. One outcome of this was the creation of the Wellington Alliance Against Sexual Violence. This is a coalition of youth-led organisations passionate about sexual violence prevention. They called for Wellington City Council and its partners to prioritise and invest in sexual violence prevention. 

In May 2021, the Pōneke Promise was signed – a community-driven partnership working to make central Wellington safe, vibrant, and welcoming. Working with organisations across Wellington city, it aims to deliver on four focus areas (one being ‘Harm Reduction’). One of the first steps in the Council’s commitment to preventing sexual violence was to develop the Sexual Violence Prevention Roadmap for Change and Sexual Violence Prevention Action Plan. This was done by working with community stakeholders, victim/survivors and sexual violence specialists. 

Project leadership

Jahla Lawrence founded the Wellington Alliance Against Sexual Violence, and ran the #LetUsLive rally, which provided the foundation for the creation of the Pōneke Promise, and our commitment to engaging in sexual violence prevention.

Jahla is now the Sexual Violence Prevention project lead at the Council.

Read more about how this project developed.

Safer Venues Project 

The Safer Venues Project is a joint initiative between Hospitality NZ, RespectEd Aotearoa, and Wellington City Council. The goal is to prevent sexual violence in the hospitality industry, specifically in the central city nightlife venues. This project has established a Safer Venues Working Group, comprised of local venue owners and managers. It is facilitating a range of prevention interventions with venues.   

If you own or manage a venue that would like to be involved, please contact safervenues@respected.org.nz.

ACC Te Aorerekura Action 13 Partnership 

Wellington City Council has partnered with ACC to host one of the first Te Aorerekura Action 13 Primary Prevention Practitioner pilots. Recently recruited into this role, Tallulah Cardno will work alongside the other two pilot roles in Aotearoa. Their primary focus will be on supporting community mobilisation in Pōneke, working with both the sexual violence prevention sector, Wellington City Council, and the community to broaden our understanding of 'what counts' as sexual violence prevention in Pōneke. 

Read more about ACC's prevention model: Towards a Safe and Inclusive 2040: ACC Strategic Investment Theory of Change (6.4MB PDF)

O-Week Consent Campaign – #MoreThanAYes

For O-Week 2023, we partnered with local student organisations to design a sexual violence prevention campaign focused on educating young people on positive sexual consent in hook-up culture. As a result, in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington Students Association, Te Tira Ahu Pae, and Thursdays in Black VUW, we designed the #MoreThanAYes campaign. Drawing on the seven principles of positive consent used in consent education, the campaign highlights how consent is more nuanced than a simple yes/no.

The campaign will be returning for O-Week 2024.

Other initiatives

Initiatives in action

Check out examples of our work in the gallery below.

Funding for community groups

Community groups that could help with the cause are welcome to apply for funding through our Council funds:

Other funding sources are also available, and may be open to funding your work.

Contact us

If you have any questions or want to get involved, contact:

Sexual Violence Prevention Project Lead 
Jahla Lawrence, jahla.lawrence@wcc.govt.nz 

Pōneke Promise team 
Email poneke.promise@wcc.govt.nz