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Clinicians reject Smith’s ACC abuse guidelines

1 April 2010
Media Statement
Clinicians reject Smith’s ACC sexual abuse guidelines

The New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists has overwhelmingly rejected ACC Minister Nick Smith’s imposed guidelines on sexual abuse, Labour’s Victims Rights spokesperson Lynne Pillay says.

“Since National became the Government the number of people approved for Government funded sexual abuse counselling has fallen from nearly 300 a month to less than 12,” Lynne Pillay says.

“It is disgraceful that people who have suffered sexual abuse are being denied assistance based on guidelines that are not supported by clinicians or Massey University, the organisation Nick Smith claims wrote the guidelines.

“Labour recently received a letter from Nick Smith inviting us to take part in a belated review of the ACC sexual abuse guidelines.

“We have rejected Mr Smith’s offer, because it is already clear that the changes he has made to the ACC sexual abuse guidelines have resulted in victims of crime being re-victimised and have lead to systemic failures in this area of ACC cover.

“Nick Smith needs to stop his sham review of the guidelines and admit they have failed to support people have been sexually abused.

“It is time to support people who need sexual abuse counselling and stop the political grandstanding and time-wasting that Nick Smith has undertaken.

“Victims of crime are not an area for cost cutting. The Minister has failed victims and survivors of sexual abuse and he needs to get on and fix the problem he has created,” Lynne Pillay said.

ENDS

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