Louise Nicholas: 'I've gone full circle'

Louise Nicholas, who alleged that police officers raped her while she was a teenager, says she has "gone full circle" in helping police deal with victims of sexual assault.

Ms Nicholas, a campaigner for victims, has helped police create a brochure which will be given to anyone who reports a sexual crime with the focus on support for survivors and their family and whanau.

Ms Nicholas' claims of being raped as a teenager in the 1980s were revealed in 2004 and resulted in criminal trials, a Commission of Inquiry and one officer being jailed for attempting to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.

Ms Nichols said working with police on the brochure for victims was "amazing" and she had "gone full circle for all the right reasons".

"Rape and sexual abuse are heinous crimes. We don't want it to happen but it does, every day. We need you cops out there to help people move on," Ms Nichols said at the brochure launch at Police National Headquarters last month.

"I want every single officer who comes in contact with a survivor and their supporters to just listen, don't judge.

"In the end, it's not the policy and processes that are going to change the culture of police. It's colleagues who pull each other up if someone isn't stepping up to the mark."

The brochures will be displayed prominently in every police station and be given to victims when they report a sexual crime to police.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said the brochure was a pledge to victims that they would "receive outstanding service all the way through their process and it states what that process will be throughout the country".

He said Ms Nicholas was a "proactive, knowledgeable and equal partner who shares a common interest with police" in providing victims of sexual assault with "the right degree of support and wraparound service".

- APNZ

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