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Turia Welcomes Counselling For Abuse Victims

Turia Welcomes Counselling Support For Sexual Abuse Victims

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is welcoming the decision to enable survivors of sexual abuse to receive up to 16 hours free counselling while their ACC claims are being dealt with.

“Advocates representing survivors of sexual violence including rape have expressed to me their concern about counselling services not being made available while sensitive claims were being considered by ACC,” Mrs Turia said.

“Everyone who has experienced sexual abuse has a right to basic support regardless of whether or not their claims stack up to ACC’s criteria for sensitive claims, so I am pleased to see that the corporation has realised this.”

Mrs Turia said current statistics reveal approximately one in four New Zealand girls is sexually abused and the rate is even higher for Maori women and people with disabilities.

Sexual abuse, despite the high rates of prevalence, is still something that society fails to recognise as being a significant and devastating influence on far too many New Zealanders, she said.

“I will be keeping a close eye on the review currently being undertaken into how ACC deals with sensitive claims.

“The cost of sexual abuse to individuals, families and the nation is huge – it impacts on education, destroys the health and wellbeing of individuals and families and is played out in courtrooms, prison cells, hospital beds and drug, alcohol treatment units and psychiatric institutions.

“We must value the counsellors, therapists, social workers and those who keep our crisis services alive.”

ENDS

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