On October 12th funding cuts to ACCs sexual abuse counseling will require survivors of abuse to be diagnosed with a mental injury under the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version 4 (DSM-IV) in order to obtain ACC covered counselling.
This new rule will seriously limit the ways that survivors seek support. Many counsellors who already oppose the rule say they will refuse to do ACC funded counseling if the new rule goes ahead.
The purpose of the Hikoi (in Wellington, see below for other national events) is to raise political awareness about the changes made to the ACC Sensitive Claims Process and deliver our message to ACC demanding fair, equal, and safe access to appropriate treatment models for abuse survivors.
We believe that the changes currently being implemented are anti-therapeutic and reinforce the abusive power dynamics of sexual violence. We demand ACC halt the implementation of the new Clinical Pathways and resume processing claims under the current system, whilst working with actual survivors and specialist service providers to develop a model that actually works.
"Despite a common sense and measured approach from counsellors and psychotherapists throughout New Zealand ACC continues to ignore their voices. All they are asking for is meaningful consultation to take place so that the guidelines can deliver support and care to victims and survivors of sexual abuse- this is clearly not the case under the new proposals.
This is an appalling approach by ACC. ACC's proposed changes mean that many will not be eligible for counselling under ACC. To add insult to injury ACC have admitted that there has been no discussions with Ministry of Health or Rape Crisis Services about extra capacity or funding in their services to support clients who would have been previously been funded by ACC .
ACC's attitude is an insult to victims and survivors of sexual abuse and the professionals who are working with them and are advocating on their behalf.
I note that complaints have been laid with the Privacy Commissioner over the proposed changes by ACC which appear to be in breach of the Privacy Act and ACC's own Codes of Claimants Rights.
I commend everybody who is working tirelessly in their support of victims of sexual abuse - who are all too often unable to have their voices heard."
- Lynne Pillay
Associate Justice Spokesperson - Victim's Rights
Protest to stop the funding cuts to ACC sexual abuse counselling.
AUCKLAND: Meet at 12pm, Albert Park band rotunda, CBD
WELLINGTON: Meet at 12.30pm, Cenotaph
CHRISTCHURCH: Meet at 12.30pm, Speakers Corner, Cathedral Square (beside Chess
DUNEDIN: Meet at 3pm, ACC offices (Corner Maclaggan & Clark Streets)
Sign the petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/ACC0909/petition.html
For more information: http://notoacc.blogspot.com/