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Smith continues to mislead on sexual abuse

Smith continues to mislead on sexual abuse guidelines

Victims of sexual abuse are being denied access to much needed counselling services while the Minister of ACC plays petty politics, Labour’s Victims Rights spokesperson Lynne Pillay says.

“Today in Parliament Nick Smith claimed that figures showing a massive decrease in the number of people accessing counselling services under his watch were incorrect,” Lynne Pillay said.

“It was surprising to hear the Minister make claims about figures showing a massive decline in the numbers of rape and sexual abuse victims accessing services were wrong, as those figures were provided by Dr Smith as the answer to a written parliamentary question.

“I am shocked that the National Government is continuing to arrogantly deny sexual abuse victims counselling, despite the overwhelming evidence that they have got it wrong.

“Despite Dr Smith’s protestations, it’s clear that victims of sexual abuse are being denied counselling in an effort by the National Government to save money.

“In a newsletter on sensitive claims written and distributed by ACC, the organisation makes it clear that it sees counselling for sexual abuse victims as an area where it has been instructed by the Government to ‘keep a close eye on expenditure’.

“The National Government apparently believes that counselling for sexual abuse victims is one of the ‘low value’ areas of expenditure it will be targeting for cost cutting.

“Nick Smith and the National Government need to wake up and realise that every day that goes by is another day that a victim of sexual abuse waits for help.

“The Minister expects victims to wait until he is ready to deal with the fall-out of his disastrous decision making, this is cynicism of the worst kind,” Lynne Pillay said.


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