The SAFER Centre was opened in September 1988 as a community initiative involving many diverse groups concerned about the lack of support and counselling for victims of sexual abuse and their families.
The community of Taranaki said "we must stop sexual abuse and create a safer place for our children."
In November of 1987 drawn from many local groups a steering committee was formed, and not less than 20 met every two weeks to produce a proposal to establish the Taranaki Sexual Abuse Family Education and Rehabilitation Centre. (SAFER)
The Proposal was:
- To establish a community based referral agency to receive sexual abuse cases.
- To develop parallel Maori Services within the agency.
- To establish a co-ordination of services working with effected families.
- To establish preventative education programmes in schools and the community.
- To develop long term rehabilitation programmes.
- To provide central government with a working model for communication programmes.
- To evolve a specific programme for offenders to break the cycle of sexual abuse and violence.
- To provide a total resource for local and iwi to address the problems of family violence.
- To provide a well stocked reference library.
The agency achieved this proposal with some changes.
Parallel development of Maori services was not successful and Maori decided to establish their own agencies with whom we have a good working relationship.
It was proposed that SAFER would be a referral agency, this changed as the community needed a counselling service specialising in sexual abuse counselling.
History is sometimes not made without obstacles and set backs, but we arrived at this place in time as a well funded and safe place for the people of Taranaki.
Taranaki SAFER Centre now offers a full range of counselling, which included working with children and adolescents, Adolescent Sexual Offenders Programme and Supervision.
If you would like to know more about our history please contact us.