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Labour to meet ACC protestors

Labour to meet ACC protestors

A petition signed by more than 4000 people opposed to cuts in counselling support for victims of sexual abuse will tomorrow be delivered to ACC Minister Nick Smith and Labour will be there to add its support for the petition, says Labour’s Victims Rights Spokesperson Lynne Pillay.

“The cuts in counselling support victimise people who have already suffered from abuse by sexual predators and are unfair, short-sighted and simply unacceptable,” Lynne Pillay said.

“The cuts come into force this week and will result in significant reductions in the support available to victims needing counselling.

“Minister of ACC Nick Smith claims the changes are those which clinicians have recommended, however this statement is simply untrue, psychotherapists and counsellors have openly spoken about the fact that the new guidelines are not in the interests of victims and survivors who have sought help.

“There are now numerous reports that significant numbers of counsellors are considering withdrawing from providing ACC funded counselling on the grounds they do not believe it is based on what is best for the victims.

“Victims of sexual abuse are also speaking publicly about what they believe will be the damaging effects of the cut backs being introduced by the National Government in the interests of cost cutting.

“The Waikato Times has reported being overwhelmed by victims contacting them in the hope of having that their stories will make the Government see sense.

“It is disgraceful that victims, are now having, to approach to the media in order for the Government to listen to them.

“Protestors will tomorrow meet at the steps of Parliament at 12.30 pm, with ACC Minister Nick Smith invited to personally receive the petition. It is important that Nick Smith fronts up to the professionals who deliver this important counselling service and the victims who are being adversely affected.

“Labour will be there to meet the protestors because it takes the concerns of clinicians and victims extremely seriously,” Lynne Pillay said.


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