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Smith’s spin allows rape victims to be misled

Smith’s spin allows rape victims to be misled

Nick Smith has clearly deliberately misled his colleagues into telling rape victims that the Government is increasing support for them, Labour’s Victims Rights spokesperson Lynne Pillay says.

“I was today horrified to read a press statement from Simon Power and Paula Bennett telling rape victims that the Government was putting more support in place for them when in fact ACC Minister Nick Smith had reduced the amount of counselling available to them,” Lynne Pillay said.

“ACC Minister Nick Smith is clearly attempting to cover-up his complete inept handling of sexual abuse guidelines if he is prepared to stoop so low as to allow his colleagues to mislead rape victims.

“Under Nick Smith’s watch the vast majority of people who have been the victims of rape or sexual abuse are now being declined help from the Government.

“It is shocking that rape victims are being re-victimised by a Minister who is too arrogant to admit he got it wrong.

“Almost every professional body that provides counselling for sexual abuse and rape victims has said the Minister is wrong yet he claims that he has the support of GPs to continue to deny people help through ACC.

“Unfortunately the Minister seems to not understand that GPs don’t provide rape victims with ongoing psychological counselling.

“Nick Smith is clinging to anything that will slow down the reinstatement of ACC help for rape and sexual abuse victims.

“But while it’s one thing for Nick Smith to clearly try and mislead MPs on ACC sexual abuse guidelines, today’s claim by National that it was actually increasing support for rape victims is a complete disgrace.

“I am appalled that anyone who is part of a Government that allowed access to counselling for rape and sexual abuse victims to fall from 300 people per month to just six a month in February would claim they are increasing support.

“National has treated victims of rape and sexual abuse with disdain and Simon Power and Nick Smith need to urgently apologise for deliberately misleading victims of sex crimes,” Lynne Pillay said.


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