Victims go without treatment under National
Victims go without treatment while National plays
ACC Minister Nick Smith’s ineptitude is forcing sexual abuse victims to go without counselling, Labour’s ACC spokesperson David Parker and Victims Rights spokesperson Lynne Pillay say.
“You do not need a review to tell you that something is seriously wrong when the number of treatment claims approved by ACC for victims of sexual abuse falls from 300 to six,” David Parker said.
“In October last year ACC Minister Nick Smith introduced new guidelines on accessing treatment for survivors of sexual abuse. These guidelines were resoundingly rejected by professional bodies and Massy University, which conducted research in this area, has distanced itself from his claims,” Lynne Pillay says.
“The New Zealand Association of Counsellors, the New Zealand Christian Counsellors Association, Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers, the New Zealand Psychological Society and the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists have all publicly rejected the guidelines introduced by the National Government.
“Today Nick Smith launched a review of these guidelines claiming that he needed clinical input. Dr Smith needs to own up to the fact that he has failed victims of sexual crimes and today’s announcement is nothing more than an attempt at a cover-up.
“Victims have suffered and are continuing to suffer while the Minister of ACC sits back. The Minister has had numerous professional bodies, Massey University and victims tell him he got it wrong, so why does he need a time-wasting review?
“I find it appalling that in New Zealand someone who has been seriously sexually assaulted cannot get counselling, because the Minister of ACC is too arrogant to admit he got it wrong.
“The guidelines introduced by Nick Smith have caused victims to be re-victimised and are nothing short of a serious injustice.
“Labour was asked to take part in the review announced by Dr Smith but declined based on the overwhelming evidence of clinicians that the new guidelines aren’t working.
“Victims are suffering. Just how long will they have to keep suffering before the Minister admits he got it wrong,” Lynne Pillay said.