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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Fact of the Day

CW: suicide, depression & sexual assault


Dear Louise,
It’s the Opinions issue next week! Awesome. I love hearing what people think. I told my friend this issue was coming up and she said “isn’t every issue of Salient an opinions issue?” — obviously you and I know the difference, but the wider student population may not. So I thought, why give them more opinions, when I can give them facts? Things they can quote at parties, or debate with their friends. Facts that reflect the current state of Aotearoa and will get students thinking. Facts that, in my opinion, are important to know.

Please see below:
• Depression does not always purely occur from chemical imbalances in the brain. It also majorly occurs from trauma, along with social, cultural, and financial instability due to the worth placed on these things in society. (World Health Organization, 2017)

• Every week, on average 10 people die in NZ by suicide. (Suicide Prevention Toolkit for DHBs, Feb 15′)
• There were 7267 intentional self-harm hospitalisations in New Zealand in 2013. (Ministry of Health, 2013)
• Budget 2018: The previous Government’s $100m fund for mental health projects has been placed back into the pool of health funding, to be put to other projects. (Stuff, Budget 2018: What you need to know about the health boost.)
• In Aotearoa, up to one in five women will experience sexual violence as an adult. (Rape Prevention Education NZ)

• It is estimated only 9% of sexual assault incidents are ever reported to police. Sexual violence has a very low conviction rate in Aotearoa, with only 13% of cases recorded by the Police resulting in conviction. (RPE)
• Campus survivors of sexual violence experience decline in academic performance which can lead to financial aid and scholarship loss, academic probation, taking time off and dropping out, and long-term impact on employment and graduate school opportunities. (End Rape on Campus 2018 — America)

• Budget 2018: $7.5 million of operating funding over four years for sexual abuse assessment and treatment services, co-funded by ACC, the Police, and the Ministry of Health has been allocated, called for by Green MP Jan Logie. (Budget 2018, Stepping up to help survivors of sexual abuse, 2018)
• In 2014 the average student debt after completing a degree was $19,731. (Student Loan Scheme Annual Report 2014)
• A law change in 2014 meant students who ignored repayment requests from Inland Revenue (IRD) for their existing student loans, could have an arrest warrant issued to prevent them leaving the country. (RNZ, Two dozen prosecuted for defaulting on student loans, March 2017)
• Budget 2018: Education is getting a 4.7% funding increase of $15,734.5. (Interest, Budget 2018 — Education, 2018)
• Our justice system disproportionately jails Māori. (People Against Prisons Aotearoa 2017)
• Prisoners are paid less than a dollar per hour to do labour, and often denied parole if they don’t. (People Against Prisons Aotearoa 2017)
• The NZ Department of Corrections uses a form of directed segregation, but only when a prisoner’s behaviour presents a serious threat to others, or themselves. (The Department of Corrections, 2017)
• The United Nations has declared indefinite and prolonged use of solitary confinement to be inhumane and degrading. In some cases the pain and suffering inflicted through solitary confinement can amount to torture. (People Against Prisons Aotearoa 2017)
• Budget 2018: The New Zealand Police are getting a 5.5% funding increase of $300 million. (NZ Herald, Budget 2018: $300m boost for police ‘commended’ by association, 2018)

  • Budget 2018: Corrections are getting a total 9.6% increase in funding of $200 million. (NZ Herald, Budget 2018: Corrections gets boost to cope with fast-growing prison population, 2018)

Wow, just so many facts, I don’t know what to do with myself. Being confronted with different information can be really unsettling. Facts change our ideologies, our relationships with others and ourselves, our passions and convictions. So, Salient Readers, take these facts out into the world with you. Think on them and research more. How do they make you feel? What do they make you want? And what do you wish you’d known already? In a world of #fakenews, keep the facts alive, my friends.


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