Behaviour is concerning or harmful if…

Harmful sexual behaviour does not have to involve physical force or even touching. It does however, involve an abuse of power by someone who is older, bigger, more mature or simply more knowledgeable about sexual matters. If you are acting in a sexually inappropriate way towards someone who has not consented (or is not old enough to consent) or who is not in an equal relationship where they are totally free to consent, your behaviour is sexually harmful.

Harmful sexual behaviour that does not involve touching may include:

  • Making obscene phone calls

  • Exposing your genitals

  • Flashing your genitals

  • Masturbating in front of someone who has not consented

  • Secretly spying on someone who is undressing or who is naked (peeping)

  • Downloading and / or distributing objectionable pornography from the internet (harmful behaviour on the internet)

Harmful sexual behaviour that does involve touch may include:

  • Rubbing against someone without their consent

  • Fondling their private parts

  • Masturbating someone else or making them masturbate you

  • Oral sex and penetration of the vagina or anus

  • Bestiality – sexual behaviour with animals

If you or someone you know has these behaviours, we can help.

Safe Network's services

We provide specialist services for adult males and females (18 years and over) who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour towards children.

We also work with adults who may not have engaged in physical behaviour towards children but have accessed, distributed and produced child sexual abuse images and films through the internet and social media.

Introduction to Safe Network clinical services fact sheet

In addition to individual services for adults, Safe provides the following further specialist services:


Safe Network provides services for those who have accessed, traded, or produced child sexual abuse material or who have engaged or communicated with children and young people online in a sexual context (grooming). 

Te Kakano

Safe Network offers specialist intervention services for children (5 – 12 years), youth (13-17 years), and adults (18 years and over), through kaupapa Māori therapeutic models of practice.

Approximately 25% of Safe’s clients are Māori. The services under Te Kakano have been developed by and are delivered by Maori practitioners for Maori clients. Safe also has the external guidance and oversight of a kaumatua.

Amanaki Pasifika

Safe Network offers specialist intervention pathways for Pasifika children (5 – 12 years), youth (13-17 years) and adults (18 years and over).

Our Amanaki Pasifika service has been developed and is led by clinicians of Samoan and Tongan descent who are fluent in their language and able to meet the clinical and cultural needs of this client group.


Safe Network offers specialist clinical assessment and intervention service for women who present with concerning and harmful sexual behaviour, and for their families.

This service pathway spans the range of Safe’s service areas and was designed to understand and accommodate the specific needs of female clients by providing a gender-responsive and collaborative service that acknowledges the social and cultural realities of women.

Women and girls fact sheet

What is the process

At Safe Network we want to make sure you get the help you need. It is important to assess whether Safe is the right place to provide that help. We conduct an assessment to find out about the individual, their history and the sexual behaviour that has brought them to Safe. Their strengths and resources will be assessed, as well as their problems.

Family members and partners are part of the assessment process. The effects of the concerning or harmful sexual behaviour, the safety of others and the needs of the family are all important factors for consideration.

Although assessment processes across the service areas may have aspects unique to the focus of that client group, all assessments are likely to involve the following:

  • Up to four interviews with the individual and their significant family members or support person(s)
  • Collection of information and reports from other agencies or professionals who are involved e.g. CYF, Police, counsellors
  • Completion of written questionnaires and psychological tests by the client and their adult family member or other support person(s).

Once the interviews and tests are completed, a detailed report is prepared. This will make recommendations about the person’s suitability for acceptance into Safe’s care. A copy of this report, including recommendations about the next steps, will be sent to the referring agency or person.

If an individual is accepted into Safe’s care, they will be allocated to a suitable clinician to undertake the intervention. Individuals are offered a tailored pathway within a suitable service that could range from 6-18 months’ duration. Each service includes all or some of the following:

  • Weekly group sessions
  • Weekly one-to-one appointments as required
  • Monthly family sessions
  • Annual intensive group therapy intervention of three days’ duration.
Non-mandated funding

The Ministry of Social Development provides funding for adult clients to attend Safe Network, who have not been mandated to do so by the Courts. Because of the limited number of MSD-funded placements available, Safe Network does not accept referrals for these placements from adults facing charges or with charges pending. However, clients with charges faced or pending can still access Safe Network services on a fee-for-service basis, pricing as follows:

  • Private Assessment: $2,900 incl GST 
  • Treatment: Individual sessions $130 incl GST per session
  • Treatment: Group sessions $130 incl GST per session. 

Expected outcomes

Our goal is to work with you to ensure you are able to lead a safe and healthy life.

This means that when you leave Safe’s care, we expect that you:

  • Do not commit further offenses of any kind
  • Take full responsibility for your offending behaviour
  • Gain acceptance as a safe, responsible member of your family and whānau
  • Are able to have safe intimate relationships with others
  • Have created a safe and healthy lifestyle

Research indicates that around 95% of adults1 and 98% of adolescents2 with sexually harmful behaviour who complete one of Safe’s services will not engage in any further harmful sexual behaviour.

  1. Community Solutions for the Community’s Problem: An outcome evaluation of three New Zealand community child sex offender treatment programmes, by Ian Lambie and Malcolm Stewart, 2003
  2. Getting it Right: An evaluation of New Zealand community treatment programmes for adolescents who sexually offend.  Ka pu e ruha, ka hao te rangatahi, by Ian Lambie, 2007.


Safe Network fact sheets

Introduction to Safe Network clinical services

Early Intervention fact sheet

Youth Services fact sheet

Adult Services fact sheet

Women and girls fact sheet