As anyone following the saga of ACC and support for survivors of sexual abuse knows, I do not believe changes limiting sessions of therapy which only allow potentially life saving treatment to those with a “mental health problem” diagnosis has anything to do with the best interests of the victim, as ACC Minister Nick Smith claims.
More evidence required? How about the fact that if you were sexually abused before 1974, and you applied for ACC funded therapy before 1992, you are no longer eligible.
Post 1992, ACC has no choice, the legislation directs them to fund therapy when the distress a survivor is enduring is presented. The “mental injury” then, is the important date.
a woman now in her early 50s who was abused in her childhood in the 1960s, was granted counselling in 1986, initially for an event that happened in October 1985. She disclosed the childhood abuse only a few years later.She was granted ACC-funded counselling and income compensation for several years, then returned to work, but recently had a relapse and applied for further counselling.
The internal email dated January 20 from Allanah Andrews, a technical claims manager in ACC’s sensitive claims unit, says the woman’s disorder “predated the event in 1985 and therefore, in my opinion, should not be considered for cover by ACC”.
It says an independent assessment is being arranged “with a specific view to confirm what, if any, is the coverable mental injury due to the 1985 event”.
This is obscene cost-cutting with no pretence of anything else. With all we know of the costs of sexual violence to individuals, to relationships, to families, to communities, it also makes absolutely no sense at all in the long term.
How many people will be affected? Who knows? As usual, ACC’s own website doesn’t have the information.