A whole switch in ideology

Another move – finally!! – to give men a little attention for a change.

For the first time in its four-decade history, Dunedin’s Rape Crisis centre will work with sexual abuse victims of all genders.

The shift is part of a major overhaul of the organisation, which also includes changing its name to the Otepoti Collective Against Sexual Abuse (OCASA).

The move has been met with cautious optimism by the head of a New Zealand male survivors group, who said the more support organisations could work together, the better.

OCASA development co-ordinator Angelo Libeau said the historically women-only organisation had changed its constitution to work with people of all genders.

Good, because why should everything be about women all the time? For centuries, millennia, everything has always been all about women. At last we are starting to redress the balance!

“We said `if we’re going to make these changes, can we still maintain our feminist philosophies’, and we talked about it for a really long time, and then we went `absolutely you can – it’s about how you manage the space to keep everybody safe’.”

He described the change as “quite huge”.

Yes, it is.

Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust chairman Phillip Chapman said Otago was leading the way in terms of communicating with the organisation.

But he acknowledged it would require some changes.

“If you’re only working with female victims, you don’t get the most pleasant view of men.

“So to start working with them, it’s a whole switch in ideology.”

Yes, it is.

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