Aotearoa-New Zealand

Contact: Christopher Longhurst
Phone: New Zealand 022 3440496
Email: Aotearoa-NewZealand@SNAPnetwork.org or chris.nz@snapnetwork.org

Meeting Information:

Wellington Peer-Support Meetings

Where: Wellington School of Philosophy, 33 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington 6021

When: First and third Tuesdays of the month 6-8 PM.

Please contact us beforehand for other meeting times and places.

Please also contact us if you are wanting peer support in other areas across the country, or:

For SNAP peer-support in the Hawkes Bay region contact Alex Cionca, ph. 0226432117
For SNAP peer-support in the Nelson/Marlborough region contact Jacinda Thompson, ph. 0273048245
For SNAP peer-support in the Otago/Southland region contact Christopher Longhurst, ph. 022 3440496
For SNAP peer-support in the Manawatū-Whanganui region contact Eugene Kennelly, text 0210440626 or email e.kennelly@xtra.co.nz
For SNAP peer support for youth and young adults, contact Houda Sbaa, email houdabesb@gmail.com
For SNAP peer-support for transgender victims and survivors contact Nicola Redmond, ph. 0220854741

For support for victims and survivors of the LBGTI community contact OUTLine! on 0800 6885463 

For other support for victims of sexual violence across Aotearoa New Zealand contact:

    1. NZ Police 105
    2. Wellington Sexual Abuse Help 04 801 6655
    3. Victim Support 0800 842 846
    4. Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00
    5. Rape Prevention Education 09 360 4001
    6. HELP (Auckland) 09 623 1700
    7. Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together 04 385 9176
    8. Healthline  0800 611 116
    9. Lifeline  0800 543 354

To register with The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care 0800 222 727

  • There is only dignity in being a survivor of sexual abuse.
  • "He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people)." ― Māori proverb
  • "When there is abuse by itself it’s scary enough. When there is abuse within a religious setting it is so terrifying to people." ― Valerie Sinason

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  • Nikolaos Garagounis
    commented 2020-04-18 21:56:40 -0500
    I just wanted to say thank you to SNAP. I’m writing my story about abuse in the Catholic Church. I’m very grateful that SNAP is out there. Been following SNAP for years. Most grateful for the work SNAP does.
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2020-04-18 20:55:15 -0500
    Hi everyone,
    A huge thank you to all you good people there in SNAP Aotearoa for the good work you are doing.
    A big thank you to Chris Longhurst for taking on the leadership role for us.
    I was once told that the victims of sexual clerical abuse who refuse to abandon their faith and continue to fight are god’s true heroes.
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2020-04-17 15:52:09 -0500
    “When someone opens up about childhood sexual abuse, they aren’t looking for sympathy or expecting you to ’fix them; — they just want someone to listen and be there.” https://www.facebook.com/SpeakUpAllSurvivorsMatter/
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2020-04-17 15:45:51 -0500
    Kia ora tātou – HI everyone

    SPEAKING SECRETS tells the story of the global #MeToo movement in Aotearoa New Zealand, through the eyes of survivors of sexual harassment and abuse.

    EPISODE 5 deals with a former Catholic schoolboy who speaks publicly for the first time about his allegations that Marist Brothers sexually abused him at school.

    To listen to the podcast from this episode, visit https://www.spreaker.com/user/nzme/for-broadcast-speaking-secrets-episode-5

    You can listen to all six episodes of the Herald-Newstalk ZB co-production here. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12083530

    Producer and host: Georgina Campbell
    Audio editor: James Irwin
    Sound and video production: Mark Mitchell
    Executive producer: Frances Cook
    Editor: Andrew Laxon
  • Alex Cionca
    commented 2020-04-08 18:07:47 -0500
    In light of Cardinal Pell being set free, SNAP in Aotearoa New Zealand stands united in support of our brothers and sisters in Australia wounded by the inability of our legal systems to hold serial child rapists accountable, placing the external significances of the law over and above the fundamental importance of doing the right thing!
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2020-03-29 00:49:12 -0500
    News from SNAP “down-under” in Aotearoa New Zealand

    SNAP has been in Aotearoa New Zealand now for the past eight months. Many people in Aotearoa New Zealand still do not know about SNAP or the service we provide the local community because we are still new to the Aotearoa victims and survivors scene. But the need for our work here is evident and we have made a significant impact already.

    Sadly, there are many victims and survivors of faith-based sexual abuse throughout New Zealand. Our main work here in Aotearoa New Zealand is to provide peer-support for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, especially in the waxing of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse as more victims and survivors find the courage to come forward and tell their stories.

    As the Royal Commission digs deeper into the historical abuse that has plagued our nation, safe places are needed for victims and survivors to feel protected, supported and truly heard. SNAP NZ offers one of those places.
    Most of our peer-support work has been concentrated around the capital region, Wellington, where peer-support meetings are held fortnightly. This work is expanding to regional centres.

    Our other peer support work involves conversations on the SNAP phoneline talking with people who call in for support, giving guidance, and a listening ear to those who want to tell their stories.

    What has been interesting here in Aotearoa New Zealand is the number of parents of victims and survivors who have contacted us. As their children find the courage to disclose to them for the first time, the parents are in a quandary as to how to adequately respond. SNAP has some excellent resources for parents and family members of victims and survivors.

    Our mission is to support victims and survivors of abuse and our kaupapa is to put victims and survivors first. I try to steer away from an organization focus so as to realise that we are one of many good networks sharing the noble mission. Thus our mantra here at SNAP NZ is “Put survivors firsts.”

    One of our highlights over the past eight months was our presence and input at the annual symposium held by the “Wellington Theological Consortium” last September. The theme was Lament, Listening and Healing In Response to the Sexual Abuse Crisis in Our Church Communities. Professor Chris Marshall, Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice at Victoria University’s School of Government spoke on how to carry out the Circle Process at peer-support meetings. He also gave an excellent introduction to the concept of restorative justice.

    Dr Rocío Figueroa Alvea, abuse survivor and Auckland based theologian spoke on “Overcoming Silence – Women’s Voices in the Catholic Abuse Crisis.” Rocio’s work in this field has made her a preeminent voice for women survivors worldwide. Her testament at the symposium spoke to the power of truth against those who seek to silence women survivors.

    Rob McGregor, peer-support-worker spoke on how “Healing Starts with Listening.” He addressed the importance of allowing victims and survivors to tell their stories in ways that they are properly heard.

    Marg Schrader, former sexual abuse counsellor and Presbyterium Moderator spoke on “The Effects of Clerical Sexual Abuse in Naming and Experiencing God.”

    I gave a talk on some reactions to Pope Francis’ Vos Estis Lux Mundi, concluding that this document was only another attempt to prevent the damage caused by previous failures, while evading the changes needed to fix the causes.

    It was a productive event at which our SNAP base in NZ grew significantly. Many significant contacts were made and some new friendships formed as participants shared their stories and leaned the skills to give and receive peer-support.

    What is unusual about SNAP NZ is that some of our members are relatively young. This is unusual because often times it is not until later in life that victims and survivors of sexual abuse find the courage to take that brave step of telling their story and reaching out to others for support.

    But SNAP NZ has some young members. I believe that we are changing the face of survivors by bringing awareness to all people that there is only dignity in being a survivor.

    We are also very honoured to have the LBGTI community represented in our network.

    I think that it is important for all survivors of sexual abuse to know that they have a most welcomed place in SNAP.

    At SNAP NZ no individual who needs support in our community is excluded. This is why SNAP is a non-binary network. We welcome people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, religions and philosophical outlooks. Even a seminarian, a cleric and a bishop who have survived sexual violence have reached out to SNAP NZ for support. They do so as survivors.

    SNAP is an equalitarian non-binary support network for victims and survivors of sexual abuse in all faith-based situations.

    Some of our members know that faith-based abuse is not only clerical sexual abuse. Survivors can also suffer at the hands of brothers, nuns or even lay employees. In addition, abuse in faith-based situations can also involve mental and emotional abuse, and physical violence as well. For example, to tell a transgender or gay person that they “have to change themselves in order to be saved from the hellfire” is a form of religious and faith-based abuse.

    At SNAP NZ no one is excluded. All are welcome. There is no difference among survivors from SNAP’s viewpoint.

    SNAP NZ is a grassroots peer-support network of survivors, by survivors, for survivors and their whanau.

    SNAP Aotearoa is grateful to its supporters.

    A special thanks to the counsellors who send their clients to us for peer-support. To heal victims and survivors is to heal society.

    A special thanks to the other survivor groups that pick-up the survivors who contact us when we cannot always provide the hands-on support needed because our own limited resources are stretched.

    A special thanks to Toi Pōneke Arts Centre and to the Wellington Philosophy School for hosting our peer support meetings in the capital.

    A special thanks to the Archbishop of Wellington, John Cardinal Dew, for his support.

    A special thanks to Tui Motu for advertising for us.

    A special thanks to WelCom for advertising for us.

    A special thanks to the organizers of the Mission Expo 2020 for giving SNAP booths at both the Porirua and Nelson events this month. We are looking forward to spreading our kaupapa and vision for a healed and safer society.

    If you or your family and loved ones are hurting and want some support or information, contact SNAP NZ today.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SNAPNetwork/

    Thanks for your attention.

    Christopher Longhurst
    National Leader of SNAP Aotearoa New Zealand
    Wellington Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Matthew Epsom
    commented 2019-10-24 21:41:17 -0500
    Thanks SNAP for all the great work you’re doing in New Zealand.
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2019-06-15 02:43:18 -0500
    Most survivors, especially victims of child sexual abuse, never come forward. They lost their voice because they were silenced by their abusers and those who covered for them. Many are still affected by the abuse. It doesn’t just go away. I would like to be a voice for them, with them, and to others.
  • Christopher Longhurst
    commented 2019-06-15 02:29:39 -0500
    At SNAP Aotearoa-New Zealand, we know that sometimes all it takes to heal is a little support. We are determined to make an impact. The core of our efforts will be to bring together survivors of abuse by priests and religious across Aotearoa-New Zealand.

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