A 16-year-old girl who is dying of cancer is trying to raise $50,000 to help survivors of sexual assault.

Eva McGauley has launched the campaign after watching many of her friends suffer through the aftermath of sexual assault with little support.

"One of my friends sits across from her rapist in class every day. That really breaks my heart."

Disturbingly the Wellington teenager said more of her friends than not had been sexually assaulted and when doctors told her the cancer was terminal, she decided her bucket list would be the fundraiser.

Advertisement

"What I am most passionate about is stopping sexual assault, and getting help for survivors."

In New Zealand one in three girls may be sexually abused before the age of 16 and one in seven boys. One in five women would experience a serious sexual assault.

"I'm not okay with that," Eva said. "Are you?"

When her friends were assaulted, Eva was shocked there was no help that met young people's needs.

"My friends had no money for transport to get to therapy, and they often didn't want to ask their parents to take them there, or were too afraid to ask."

To make Eva's wish for a safer New Zealander come true, she has teamed up with HELP, an Auckland-based not-for-profit organisation that helps women and children heal from the traumatising effects of sexual assault.

It offers 24/7 crisis support, and long-term therapy for assault survivors.

Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley recently announced funding for a nationwide continuous crisis phone line for sexual assault survivors.

Eva said while it was a step in the right direction she did not think a phone line was what teenagers needed.

"Young people like me don't want to talk to a stranger on the phone. We want to talk to a trained counsellor online, where we feel safe."

HELP executive director Kathryn McPhillips said it can take years before children, teenagers and women reclaim their lives after sexual abuse.

"We simply couldn't be there for people as long as they need us without passionate people like Eva speaking up for us, and generous Kiwis supporting Help."

Eva has published an open letter and video on HELP's new website for young women and wants the campaign shared on social media networks with the hashtag #EvasWish.

She is also asking for people to donate at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/evaswish.