More Western Bay people have come forward to report sexual assaults. Experts say the increase is encouraging although most assaults still go unreported. Jean Bell talks to those working on the frontline.
The number of reported sexual assaults in the Western Bay of Plenty has tripled in the last five years, with experts attributing the rise to increased awareness and willingness of victims to speak out.
According to New Zealand Police data, the number of victimisations (or reports) of sexual assault and related offences had jumped from at 88 in 2014 to 269 in 2018.
Detective Senior Sergeant and national