Warning: This story discusses sexual violence and rape.
Protesters have gathered in Auckland to demonstrate against the sentencing of a man who raped four teenagers and sexually violated another.
The protest at Aotea Square comes after it was revealed this week Jayden Meyer, who raped four girls aged under 16, was sentenced to nine months of home detention.
Around 40 protesters have gathered with some holding banners and signs that say: "stop sexual violence", "9 months charged for a lifetime of trauma" and "consent law reform now".
A protester can be seen writing in chalk on the ground Aotea Square: "1 of 3 girls will be sexually assualted".
On Thursday over 1000 people gathered on Mount Drury Reserve in Mount Maunganui for a silent protest against the justice system for letting young rape victims down.
More New Zealanders attended marches in Hamilton, Gisborne, Taupō and Whanganui to call for tougher consequences for rapists.
Around 150 students marched from Civic Square in Wellington to Parliament in a peaceful protest on Saturday afternoon.
The organiser of the Mount Maunganui demonstration Spencer McNeil told Newshub the protests were "to hold the justice system to account because they should be upping the consequences" for offenders in cases like this.
Speaking to a Newshub reporter at the protest, McNeil said nine months of home detention for rape is "absolutely disgusting".
"We were in lockdown for how long? He pretty much just got lockdown… He got off with a slap on the wrist."
According to the NZ Herald, Meyer, now 18, was charged after multiple police complaints by young women in the Bay of Plenty who alleged sexual violence across 2020 and 2021.
Meyer was 16 years old when he committed the attacks on five 15-year-olds, four of whom he raped and one he sexually violated.
The NZ Herald reported the psychologist who saw Meyer 20 times during the prosecution found he had a medium risk of reoffending and continues to minimise the effect of his crimes.
Growing public anger about the home detention sentence has now sparked several protests over the justice system's response to the case.
A Change.org petition calling for Meyer's sentence to be increased received over 36,000 signatures and counting.
"I'm absolutely disgusted that Jayden Meyer can get away for raping FOUR 15-year-old girls without being held accountable," the petition said.
"It's sickening to think about those poor girls who went through that and will have to live with it.
"That does not sit right with me whatsoever, we need to change this!"
If you have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment or assault and would like to speak to someone, you could call the HELP support service.
- Auckland: (09) 623 1700 or visit helpauckland.org.nz
- Wellington: (04) 801 6655 or visit wellingtonhelp.org.nz