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Sexual abuse victims now victims of ACC cutbacks

Lynne Pillay MP
Victims Rights Spokesperson

15 October 2009
Media Statement
Victims of sexual abuse now victims of ACC cutbacks

The tragic case of two young boys from Taranaki who were brutally sodomised and abused but who have been denied sexual abuse counselling by ACC is horrifying, says Labour’s Victims Rights Spokesperson Lynne Pillay.

“I understand that these young boys will now receive counselling through Child Youth and Family after their story was made public, but their family should not have had to take their story public in order to receive government help,” Lynne Pillay said.

“Counsellors have been warning for months that proposed changes by ACC that would limit or prevent victims of sexual abuse from accessing counselling would be disastrous but Nick Smith has blithely continued to push these.

“Mr Smith’s claims that he was not making decisions about changing access to sexual abuse counselling funded by ACC that it was clinicians making the decisions is simply untrue.

“In the case of the two young boys from Taranaki a counsellor and the police supported their need for ACC funded counselling and they were still told no.

“What Nick Smith is failing to mention when he says clinicians are making the decisions on counselling need is that the clinicians he is talking about are sitting in ACC offices in Wellington and have never met or even spoken with the victims.

“How can they be clinical decisions if those making the decisions are simply just sitting in an office in Wellington rubber stamping the cut backs initiated by the National Government?

“It seems in order to qualify for counselling victims of molestation and rape will now have to tell their stories to the media before the Government will listen and deliver them the help they need.

“Withholding much needed and deserved support from those who have suffered horrendously at the hands of criminals is a disgrace,” Lynne Pillay said.


ENDS

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