Guest blog: an open letter to the wahine toa who survived sexual predators, Danny Jaz and Roberto Jaz.

Mama Hooch trial

Later this week, the sex offenders of the Mama Hooch trial will be sentenced. This is a case that has created enormous upset. 
We wanted to share the following with you. It is an open letter written by members of the community to honour those who endured  the Jaz brothers’ offending. It will published in a full page in The Press on Thursday. This case is a good reminder of the need for us all to talk about sexual violence – if we do that, the secrecy that offenders rely on will disappear.
The writers of this letter would love to see their words shared far and wide so we can all show our support for the survivors of sexual violence and our collective commitment to taking steps to reduce New Zealand’s horrific sexual violence rates. The following is not our words, but theirs:


We want to honour you.
The bravery from all of you has inspired us. Know that your voices have made a profound difference.  You stopped future hurt at the hands of these offenders.  You have given courage to other victims of sexual offending to speak out. You have made our city safer and the rest of us need to follow your lead.

To everyone who has experienced sexual assault, even if you didn’t get a conviction, we support you.

For those who haven’t felt safe to report an assault, who feel confused about what happened, who feel they’ve let too much time pass, or who fear repercussions, know that we believe you.

To all who have reported sexual violence, who have endured lengthy court proceedings, who have withstood the mental health repercussions, we are in awe of you.

To those who have intervened to prevent harm to others, who were relentless in the pursuit of these charges, who believed the survivors every step of the way, we thank you.

You have all made Ōtautahi Christchurch safer.