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Sexual abuse victims failed by ACC Minister

Sexual abuse victims continued to be failed by ACC Minister

ACC Minister Nick Smith is continuing with the shambolic approach to counselling cut backs for sexual abuse victims, says Labour’s Victims Rights Spokesperson Lynne Pillay.

“I am aware that when people have contacted ACC seeking information on how to be diagnosed and receive treatment the corporation couldn’t tell them,” Lynne Pillay said.

"Victims are unsure as to whether they need to prove they are mentally ill; they will have to reprove this every few weeks; and now ACC can’t even tell people how to go about getting help.

“This has got to be the cruellest of all the obstacle courses for victims of horrendous crime so far and at the heart of it ACC is doing it simply to cut costs.

“I have been told that people seeking a list of authorised clinicians to diagnose mental injury for sexual abuse victims have simply been told there is no list available.

“This is shocking ACC are continually moving the goalposts and are making it more and more difficult for victims to get the help they deserve and need.

“It is completely ridiculous that the rules have been changed so that counsellors and other professionals involved in the treatment of sexual abuse victims cannot refer them for sexual abuse counselling. But what is even more ridiculous is that ACC seems to be putting further roadblocks in victims way by not providing clear information about who can help them with these new requirements.

“Nick Smith has said he will hold a review of sexual abuse counselling changes after six months. But in the meantime victims of horrendous sexual crimes are being forced to endure a cruel experiment in cut backs to counselling.

“Victims of sexual abuse have suffered enough, ACC Minister Nick Smith should listen to the clinicians who have already said the changes he has instituted are not in the best interests of those who desperately need help,” Lynne Pillay said.

ENDS

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