WellStop is a community-based organisation that focuses on the prevention of sexual abuse and sexual harm in our communities across the lower North Island. We want to help create strong safe communities by working with others: individuals, families, communities, professionals to achieve this goal.
WellStop works in a responsive way in different communities. Services may differ depending on the needs of the community, on the other services available, and at times on the funding available.
We believe that geography should not be a barrier to people getting help, so try to grow services ourselves or work in collaboration with community partners to develop the services over time.
To see what is available in your community, click here.
Our Commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi
WellStop acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi as an agreement which establishes a partnership relationship between Māori and Tau Iwi in New Zealand. The policies and practices of the WellStop programme seek to reflect this.
Our Vision and Values
WellStop’s mission is to prevent the next incident of sexual abuse. This means the next and the next and the next until the community is free from sexual abuse.
What does being free from sexual abuse look like? WellStop has a vision for the positive outcomes we seek:
A world in which each person experiences respectful relationships, a strong sense of connection to family, friends and community, and is safe from sexual abuse.
That everything we do is based on the quality of relationships with others – with clients, family, whānau, community, partners and funders. Ka tau te whanaungatanga ki waenganui i ngā kaimahi.
Acting with integrity, respect and honesty. That we will be worthy of the trust that is placed in us by those who seek our support. He tangata pono.
That we will take time to think about others, and what they are experiencing, and respond with warmth. Caring for each other's wellbeing and potential. Kia ngākaunui ki te tangata.
Making a difference by taking difficult steps together. Having courageous conversations and together changing abusive practice. Ka manawanui mai te tangata ki tona kaupapa.
That we act from our knowledge of best practice and with the best outcome for all in mind. We are accountable for our actions and practice. Kia hiringa i te mahi.
WellStop was originally known as Wellington STOP, which was based on the Christchurch based STOP programme, which set up just prior to WellStop.
The name was changed to WellStop in 2006, for two reasons
To create a separate identity to STOP, as we were partners but not the same organisation
To create our own identity within our expanding region.
For example, the Hawkes Bay branch of Wellington STOP became, more simply, WellStop Hawkes Bay. The name WellStop was chosen to reflect the connection to Wellington, but also to emphasise our focus on well-being, along with the prevention of harm.
Prior to WellStop, a sub-group of Wellington Men for Non-Violence started a “Group for Sexually Abusive Fathers”, which focused primarily on adults who had sexually abused their children or step-children.
In June 1992 a decision was made to set up a properly funded, more comprehensive organisation. Following an extensive process of community consultation, Wellington STOP was formally registered as an Incorporated Society in May 1993. WellStop became a charitable trust in 2015.
Adult services in Wellington were the first to be established in 1993. These were offered only in Wellington and later Palmerston North until 2017 when increased funding meant we could establish them throughout our whole region.
Youth Services started in 1996 after a decision by the then Child Youth and Family (CYF) to fund teams to treat high-risk adolescents after delays to build a residential treatment unit.
They were developed in the regions soon afterwards, starting first in 1997 with a sub-contracting relationship with the Taranaki Safer Centre in New Plymouth.
Youth services in Palmerston North were established a year later followed by the Hawkes Bay programme (2000) and the Gisborne site in 2005.
Almost from the start, WellStop experienced increasing pressure to accept referrals of younger children.
WellStop engaged in two pieces of research in 2007 to establish the need and in 2010 to pilot a service which consisted of teacher education, school consultation, and therapeutic intervention.
CYF ( Oranga Tamariki ) then came on board with sustainable funding for the therapeutic component of this work, which is offered in each region. The educative and consultation services are currently funded through grants or by fee for service.
Art therapy rooms at WellStop Wellington
Doll's house in the children's room
In 2014 Taranaki SAFER Centre experienced financial and governance difficulties and decided to merge with WellStop.
This brought a new perspective to the agency as they also provided services for victims/survivors in the Taranaki area.
As well, in 2014 WellStop became an ACC supplier and all teams now have ACC registered counsellors offering services for victims/survivors under ACC sensitive claims.
The three most recent rural offices (Taumarunui, Wairoa and Hawera) were set up in response to gaining contracts for Sexual Harm Crisis Support Services, funded by MSD.
Hei ahei te whakakite o tēnei wāhi i orite ki te wakahuia he wāhi kia whakapoho, whakatiaki i a tātou katoa
Let this place to be seen the same as the wakahuia. A place with the purpose of treasuring and protecting all