For the second year in a row the Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation has had to cancel its annual street appeal due to Covid-19.
Chief executive Sue Wood told the Herald this comes as the organisation is already grappling with nearly double the amount of calls to its crisis line.
"And it's all ages. We're the only ones in Wellington that have the contract for children, so it's not just adults."
Wood said months of planning had gone into the appeal, which was set down for this weekend, but they had to scrap everything last week due to Covid-19 lockdown uncertainty.
"We're are extremely reliant on the street appeal and donations because we're partially funded by the Government and so therefore the rest of it falls on donations and various events we have."
If people want to donate, she said they can head over to the organisation's website and donate online.
"Even if we dropped down a level to level 3, it still didn't look like we would be able to go on to the streets."
Wood said when this lockdown kicked in, sadly, calls to the organisation began to escalate again and it is putting a strain on staff.
As an essential operation, they're still operating during lockdown and are a free service.
"We're the only ones that have a 24/7 crisis team. So people can ring in and they are triaged as to whether they need social work or counselling."
Earlier this year the Herald revealed the number of sexual assaults in Wellington had increased by nearly 50 per cent in the past five years.
Reports of sexual assaults and related offences grew from 157 in 2015 to 230 in 2020, overall a 46 per cent increase inside the Wellington police boundary.
Wood urged those who can to donate.
"There wouldn't be many people that don't know someone who has been impacted, so I would just encourage them [to give] because it's really going to help our organisation."
Sexual harm - Where to get help
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Contact HELP04 801 6655
For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz