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Stop ACC Cuts to Sexual Abuse Counselling

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AUCKLAND, Thursday 29 Oct
 
Nikki Kaye Picketed by Sexual Abuse Survivors
 
An "End Rape Culture Now! Collective" member today enters the third day of her hunger strike outside National MP Nikki Kaye's office. Sexual abuse survivors have been camping outside the Auckland Central MP's office since Tuesday to protest ACC cuts to sexual abuse counselling.
Survivors will hold a public rally outside the MP's College Hill office at 12.00 noon this Friday 30th Oct where Louise Nicholas and Kim McGregor will speak.
 
The End Rape Culture Now! Collective asks that:
(1)Nikki Kaye advocates for counselling for sexual abuse and assault survivors in parliament, and discusses this with John Key.
(2) ACC supports the ACC-registered counsellors to develop a New Zealand tool to assess survivors for counselling
(3) ACC ceases to require the DSM-IV as the only diagnostic tool to assess mental injury and that a public announcement is made by ACC to this effect
 
Hunger Striker Eliana Darroch said "Our hunger strike is symbolic of ACC denying nourishment to survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape. To take away the counselling we need to recover, is like
taking away our food. Nikki Kaye is my local MP and should advocate for survivors."
 
As of Tuesday, survivors have already been receiving letters from ACC stating that their applications for treatment are declined, and that required to attend a formal psychiatric assessment with a psychiatrist. "Restricting counselling access delays recovery and prolongs the trauma" says Darroch.
 
End Rape Culture Now! Collective are wanting answers:
With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men experiencing sexual abuse in their lifetime, this is a societal problem, not a personal one, and therefore needs to be addressed by the government. 
“This is an issue of crave public concern. ACC and the National Party need to be held accountable for the changes they have put through. What advice would John Key give a rape survivor who was refused treatment or made to wait indefinitely? What are people to do when they can't afford counseling” said End Rape Culture Now! Auckland spokesperson Priscilla Penniket.
 
No funded alternative system of counselling support has been proposed to replace ACC's current system, for those who do not qualify under ACC's changes.
 
ACC Minister Nick Smith yesterday announced that the counselling access restrictions would be reviewed in six months. "Survivors do not have six months, they need counseling now" says Penniket. One sexual
abuse survivor has already committed suicide rather than submit to a psychiatric diagnosis.
 
"Survivors do not want a psychiatric mental illness label, it's all very well to review this pathway in six months, but these DSM-IV labels affect peoples lives in the long term" says Penniket.
 
DSM IV stands for the American Diagnostic Statistical Manual.
New Zealand ACC counsellors are wanting to offer alternative assessment models that are more appropriate to sexual abuse survivors. 

Hunger striker Eliana Darroch is feeling physically weak but in good spirits with strong support from family and friends. It is her birthday today. 

A public rally in support of sexual abuse survivors, and against the changes to ACC, will begin at 12.00 midday, Friday 30 Oct, outside Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye's office, 82 College Hill, Auckland.
 
For more information,
www.stopcuts.blogspot.com
www.youtube.com/endrapeculture


Comments

The protests are showing some

The protests are showing some effect:

"The Accident Compensation Corporation has backed off requiring sexual abuse victims to be diagnosed as mentally ill under an American diagnostic system to get counselling."...

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10606038

This is a nice shift, and

This is a nice shift, and seems obvious to me that the pressure should be kept on them.

"a sugar daddy, some businessman who wants to contribute to social change who has a spare $450,000, which would keep us going for 45 months."  - what a fucked up thing to say though.

They taking this piss and

They taking this piss and referring to the rich businessman who is bankrolling next month's pro smacking march.

He is spending $450,000 on publicising the march.  What a waste of money!